Making an All-Star case for Cavs center Jarrett Allen


Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has taken a giant step this season, making him one of the best frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference. It has become clear that Allen deserves a spot on the All-Star roster.

Allen is currently averaging 17.1 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and 1.5 blocks per game while helping lead a Cavs team riddled with injuries and sickness to the sixth seed in the east.

Jarrett Allen has been one of the NBA’s premier defensive players this season, making a strong case for an All-Defensive team

Allen has been the defensive anchor for the Cavaliers, who have the third best defense in the NBA, only trailing the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns. This is very worthy company to be in, as the Warriors and Suns are competing for the best record in the NBA.

Jarrett Allen has caused teams to change the game plan when they play the Cavaliers due to his versatility on defense, being able to defend smaller players at the perimeter as well. His rare athleticism for a player of his size has helped him to reach tougher shots to send them back, while also allowing him to keep up with guards around the three-point arc.

Allen has an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time defensively to contest just about every shot that goes up. He averages 11.5 contested shots per game, which is good for seventh in the NBA.

Jarrett Allen has some of the best footwork in the NBA and has seen a leap in his ability to play in the post.

Footwork is one of the most underrated aspects of basketball; it can take a player’s game from All-Star to MVP-worthy. Kobe Bryant and Lebron James both learned this from Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Allen, this season, has gotten the memo.

Jarrett Allen has seen a boost of 10% to his field goal percentage this season, largely due to the fact that he has vastly improved his body control and footwork. This leads to him being a much-improved scorer in the post.

Allen is taking 65% of his shots within 3 feet of the basket and is hitting those shots nearly 83% of the time. This is better than Joel Embiid, who is commonly referred to as the best post player in the NBA, who only hits at just over 76% from the same range.

Jarrett Allen also has numerous other tools in his game that cause teams to have to pay him extra attention.

Back in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Allen showed the world that he had a few unique skills for a center. On top of his already incredible ability to send shots back. Due to a large number of injuries to the Nets roster, Allen was trusted to handle the ball numerous times.

The Fro thrived in this role as well, averaging 2.3 assists per game on top of his 14.8 rebounds through 4 games. Allen also made some impressive showing flashes of a Bam Adebayo type player in his ability to do a bit of everything.

This causes defenses to be more cautious when he has the ball in his hand. He may usually be used as a pick n’ roll threat, but he can also wrap the ball around and hit the open shooter in the corner if the defense collapses. This is seen with his 1.9 assists per game.

Allen is also a good shot from mid-range, hitting 58.3% of his shots from 10-16 feet away from the basket, although he rarely shoots outside of 3 feet from the basket.

What are Allen’s chances of making the All-Star roster?

As of right now, Allen is in sixth place among frontcourt players in the east according to the first All-Star Voting returns, receiving 168,000 votes. This places him above notable names like Bam Adebayo, Nikola Vucevic, and Miles Bridges.

Unfortunately, the odds of Allen making the final roster are still not great. The East is stacked with great frontcourt players and popular guards. This could make it difficult for him to get the All-Star nod that he deserves.

His best shot would be at a reserve frontcourt position or a wild card spot. If Allen gets edged out of those selections, he will surely be an Injury replacement if needed.

Either way, Allen is having a career season and has large potential to keep building from here to become a more well-rounded player and help the Cavaliers continue their unexpected ascension to relevancy.