In the opinion of Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Jarrett Allen’s performance on Friday was an emphatic statement about the big man’s exclusion from the All-Star Game.
Bickerstaff praised Allen’s performance and noted why the effort was so inspired.
“Right from the beginning of the game, he came out with a clear message for the league,” Bickerstaff said. “I think he sent it loud and clear. That’s an All-Star performance when we needed it most.”
Allen was clearly motivated to prove the doubters wrong on Friday. He finished with 29 points and 22 rebounds. His efforts played a key role in helping the Cavaliers come away with a wild win.
While Allen’s play on Friday was arguably his best effort of the season, he’s served as one of the keys to the Cavaliers’ improved play throughout the entirety of the campaign.
In 45 games during the 2021-22 season, Allen has been effective in multiple areas and is averaging 16.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
It’s impossible to gauge where the Cavs would be this season without the 23-year-old. He has undoubtedly been one of the team’s most important players.
Allen’s disappointment about his All-Star snub is likely magnified by the fact that this season’s All-Star Game will be played in Cleveland. On the bright side, Darius Garland will represent the Cavs in the event.
It will be interesting to watch just how much more inspiration Allen can derive from the snub, with the Cavs set to be the beneficiaries of any such added motivation.