Surging Six: These Cavs are playing great heading into All-Star break

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /
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February has been a breath of fresh air for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland lost their last game at the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night because of an awful first half, but that won seven straight contests, and five by double digits.

Some of the recent Ws for the Cavs have been against teams that have been without key contributors, and that has objectively had some to do with it.

But it’s not as if Cleveland has not had its injury woes this season, and the Cavaliers have themselves have had some less than forgiving circumstances in this stretch, too, from a schedule standpoint.

All things considered, the performance from these Cavaliers of late and at various times in positive stretches last month should not be taken for granted, and several players have been stepping up for the club of late. It’s been a team effort for the Clevelanders, and one shouldn’t lose sight of that.

That being said, some Cavaliers have absolutely been standouts leading into the All-Star break, and here, we’ll give those players their shoutouts. Others have chipped in throughout, too, these guys have just been the key cogs game-to-game for a significant stretch.

In no particular order regarding importance, necessarily, we’ll get started.

# Cavs standouts leading into the All-Star break – No. 1: Jarrett Allen

Jarrett Allen has been playing dynamite basketball for the Cavaliers nearly all season long, and in February, he’s been especially dominant. This month, he’s had 18.9 points per contest on 74.4 percent shooting, to go with 10.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks through eight games.

Aside from the Philly game versus Joel Embiid, who lights up virtually everybody, Allen’s been outstanding on the defensive end with how he’s been so disruptive in the paint, and his help play there has been exceptional. Plus, his pick-and-roll defense has been superb, whether he’s been switching out at times or playing more in drop/hedging. Allen has aided the Cavs with his active, high hands and his rim protection has been big-time.

Along with the defensive efforts from him, the big man has been playing with force on offense, and has been hyper-efficient with his finishing at the rim with dunks, and his post-up game in the paint has blossomed.

He’s also mixed in finishing with touch on push shots, which has been something that he’s displayed more regularly over the course of the past two seasons. It’s made him more formidable on the offensive end, and it’s been nice to see his growth as a situational passer and ball mover in set offense this season.

Overall, Allen’s been playing great basketball for a while for Cleveland, but even more so in recent weeks/this month. And it’s apparent that he’s taken further strides as a leader for this group.