Jarrett Allen praised by Cleveland Cavaliers teammate for leadership and effort

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

When one thinks of "stars," it's typically going to lean in favor of the best scorers or playmakers. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and even still Evan Mobley (despite the injuries this year) are going to garner much of the attention.

Throughout this season, though, and as he's proven in recent years, Jarrett Allen has shown how much he means to this squad. The guy has been outstanding, even if he's not necessarily going to get the highest praise nationally. In the midst of a career-defining year, Allen has helped carry the Cavaliers to another playoff berth with dominant two-way effort.

Allen has had a career-best 16.2 points and 2.7 assists per game, to go with 10.7 rebounds per contest. He's had 36 double-doubles (another career high), has been tremendous defensively, has improved on the glass and just keeps getting it done as an interior force on both ends of the floor.

In a season where they've had so many rotational players miss extended time, Allen has been a rock for Cleveland. Despite the Cavaliers' ups and downs of late as a group from injuries and general inconsistencies, Allen has played so well. In a recent post-game interview, Cavaliers guard Darius Garland sang Allen's due praises (via Hayden Grove of cleveland.com).

The Cavaliers need Jarrett Allen more than ever

Allen came into this season penciled in as one of the Cavaliers' key players, but a lingering potential for a mid-season trade loomed after his disappointing playoff performance from a year ago. Despite the misconceptions and disbelief, Allen has stepped it up and become a special talent in Cleveland.

The numbers for Allen have been impressive, by and large, and while post-All-Star break play hasn't been the best for the Cavaliers as a whole, he's been terrific. Post-All-Star, he's had 17.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per outing in 22 games.

Even amid this more recent lull for Cleveland as a group, Allen has been doing his part defensively. With vocal leadership and direction, the Cavs will need to define themselves with their defense down the stretch. He's still often been in prime position on the interior to make finishes difficult, his contests have been sound and he's helped clean the glass there.

Allen's strides when defending on the perimeter have been another positive takeaway from his play this year as well. He's seemed to become very comfortable in switch-out situations when needed, and in high-leverage moments. As the Cavs approach the playoffs, Allen's versatile defense will be critical.

With what he's done for the Cavaliers at the basket on both sides of the court, as a defensive communicator and continually improving passer, it's hard to overstate Allen's impact. He's truly had a career year.

Now, of course, it's going to be on Allen, among other Cavs, to rebound in the 2024 Playoffs. Allen had a terrible playoffs last year, when the Cavaliers were crushed in five games by the New York Knicks in the first round.

However, if the Cavaliers can get their guys healthier, with Garland finding his groove, and this being a deeper team with more shooting and veteran experience, they should be better equipped this go-around. And with how he's been leading the way to a large extent, Allen should be far better in this upcoming playoffs. He's more than held his own for the most part against other top-tier centers this regular season, and he's shown growth with his skill level and switchability this season.

He'll have to go out and prove it, but fans should be hopeful Allen can carry forward his high-level play into the playoffs this time. In the mean time though, what he's done throughout this 2023-24 season shouldn't be taken for granted.

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