The Cleveland Cavaliers are not in a good place right now, as we all can unfortunately attest to; they’ve lost 10 straight games. Albeit the Cavs have had their share of injuries, and Cleveland not having Kevin Love for most of this season (high-grade right calf strain/aggravation) has not aided them, especially as of late, for one.
Larry Nance Jr. being set for seemingly miss through most of March (fractured left hand), particularly on the defensive end of the floor, in which Cleveland has really struggled, hasn’t helped, either. And Taurean Prince being banged up recently, and missing the past two games with left ankle soreness wasn’t ideal.
Cleveland did get pretty solid play from their starting backcourt in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, but Cedi Osman struggled in replacement of Prince, and Isaac Okoro had some bad misses, and had some rookie fouls.
The bench was outscored 42-9, though, and losses like that one to a fellow rebuilding club are ones that are discouraging, frankly, and hopefully, Love can be back pretty soon to give this squad some juice.
On a positive note, once again, Jarrett Allen proved to be uber-efficient and looks to clearly be Cleveland’s long-term answer at the 5.
He had 26 points on 11-of-11 from the field, to go with 17 rebounds and three blocks in his 42 minutes, and ESPN Stats & Info highlighted how Allen is the “3rd player over the last 30 seasons with 25 points and 15 rebounds on 100% FG in a game, joining Dwight Howard and Dikembe Mutombo.”
Most notably, Allen was just the eighth player in league history to have that sort of 25/15 clip and 100 percent shooting, via NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain, for context, did so seven times, and the likes of Wes Unseld and Walt Bellamy were among those in that company.
Allen’s game on Sunday for the Cavs was one you don’t see often.
It was apparent that the Cavaliers and Andre Drummond were headed for a split, seemingly by the March 25 trade deadline or perhaps, if Cleveland doesn’t find a trade suitor for him by then, a buyout, since Allen was acquired via trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
In any case, it’s again clear as day that Allen, whether it’s via matching a potential restricted offer sheet, etc., will be locked up this offseason, which would be the right call.
In 18 appearances with Cleveland thus far, Allen’s had 14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per outing.
And in regards to the overall season, while some of it was with the Nets of course, he has led the league among qualified players in field goal percentage at 67.1, per Basketball Reference.
Allen is not a dude that’s a floor spacer in terms of shooting by any means, and has attempted the vast majority of his shots right at near the rim. Although he has shown flashes as a mid-range shooter, and has hit 72.1 percent of his free throws with the Cavs, for what it’s worth.
Nonetheless, Allen’s outing on Sunday versus OKC, albeit in a loss, was one that you don’t see often. And overall, he’s consistently shown he’s going to finish with power as a roller/lob threat, but also has impressive touch via hooks, such as on Sunday.
While the Cavs do admittedly have things to figure out, and landing a player in the 2021 NBA Draft such as Cade Cunningham, Jonathan Kuminga, Evan Mobley and/or perhaps Jalen Green could definitely help, Allen is undoubtedly their long-term 5 solution.
And games like his on Sunday drive home that sort of thing.