This past week was an up-and-down one for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a prevalent theme in what has been a wacky start to the season. They started off by laying an egg at home in a playoff rematch against the New York Knicks, albeit they were short-handed. They then bounced back on the road with a win against those same Knicks, but then followed it up with a close In-Season Tournament loss to the Indiana Pacers. They finished off their hectic week with a home win against the Golden State Warriors.
It was good to see the Cavs pick up steam towards the end of the week, as they welcomed back Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen from injury, and got their first home win of the season in an impressive win over the Warriors. The second half of the Pacers game, and the entirety of the Warriors game showed how good a healthy Cavaliers team is. The team is only scratching the surface, and with a big four-game road trip coming up, it is imperative they keep the good vibes rolling. Here are three takeaways from Week Two of Cavs basketball.
After Allen was a vanishing act during the Knicks playoff series, and his stunning admission that the lights were too bright in the postseason, the pitchforks came out, and trade rumors started swirling around his afro. However, his return has proven one thing: those rumors were silly, and he is still one of the most impactful players on the roster.
Not only is Allen another lob threat on offense, and has a two-man game with Evan Mobley that is budding before our very eyes, he is also the defensive communicator of this team, and the backbone of the rim protection along with Mobley. While Mobley is stellar in his own right, his play is elevated with Allen alongside him, as he can roam more freely, and use his length to disrupt more shots. The Cavs can dominate the paint a lot more with Allen on the court, which is exactly what they did against the Warriors.
Allen is also reliable from a statistical standpoint, as he has averaged 11 points, and eight rebounds through two games, and he was on a minute restriction in his first game back. It’s understandable to have concerns of having him and Mobley on the court together as two non-shooting bigs. Even with that in mind, it now seems like the Cavaliers have the right personnel around them to mask those deficiencies. Allen is going to continue to play a huge role in Cleveland’s success, and the trade rumors can be put to rest for now.