When the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that Darius Garland and Evan Mobley were out for more than a month each, there was fear that the Cavs would slip a bit in the standings. Losing the second and third-best players on the team could spell disaster for a lot of teams, especially considering the Cavs' lack of point guard depth.
Donovan Mitchell also missed some time, leaving Jarrett Allen alone in the starting lineup as the only All-Star caliber player who was healthy.
Luckily for the Cavs, the team was able to stay afloat and even win some games from the incredible play of their role players, the All-NBA caliber play of Donovan Mitchell, and an underrated few weeks from Jarrett Allen.
Jarrett Allen is helping to carry the Cavaliers
With his starting frontcourt partner out, the defense was surely going to take a hit. The spacing, though, increased when the Cavs started Dean Wade at the power forward spot. This gave Jarrett Allen a lot more room to operate.
Allen was able to hit some midrange shots, serve as a secondary playmaker, and be more effective on cuts over the past few weeks. He has been a more focal point on offense, which has helped the Cavs on offense while missing their All-Star caliber point guard.
Over Jarrett Allen's past 11 games since Evan Mobley was out, Allen has averaged 15.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Not to mention, he had a game against the Dallas Mavericks a few days ago on Wednesday with 24 points and 23 rebounds, also hitting all of his six free throw attempts.
In fact, Allen's last three games have been his best. The Cavaliers' involvement of Allen in the offense and his impact both defensively and on the boards have elevated both the team and Allen's personal production. The Cavs unlocked the best of Allen over the past few games.
Now, once Darius Garland and Evan Mobley eventually do return from injury, his touches will drop. He will not be averaging as many points or assists, but some could say that he should still be an effective option on offense even with a healthy team.
Yes, the Cleveland was only 6-5 when Allen played without Mobley, but losing a defensive player like Mobley did hurt the Cavs a lot. Donovan Mitchell didn't play four of the games, and that meant Jarrett Allen was tasked with a lot more than he's used to, especially with the talent he plays with now.
Allen is currently averaging a career best 2.8 assists per night, which has been because of the amount of responsibility he has been given on offense. His defense has still been one of the league's best and has been the backbone of the Cavs' top 10 defense.
One thing that has not been mentioned enough about Allen is his ability to cut to the rim. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are both at the top of points off of cuts this season, which has been because of Darius Garland's and Donovan Mitchell's stellar playmaking.
Once Evan Mobley and Darius Garland are back in the starting lineup, Jarrett Allen should still be used as a more focal point on offense as he has in the past few weeks. The Cavs have been a great team when he is used on offense more, and the Cavs could build on their success if Allen continues his effectiveness on offense.