J.B. Bickerstaff shares details on Jarrett Allen’s injury and how it will affect Cavs

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Jarrett Allen has a bone bruise in his left ankle and will be re-evaluated in two weeks after getting injured in a recent practice, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Saturday.

Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the bone bruise developed over time and the decision to sideline Allen now can allow him to recover before the regular season begins.

The 25-year-old center will now likely miss the entire slate of preseason games. Cleveland begins that four-game schedule on Tuesday and wraps it up on Oct. 20. The Cavs’ 2023-24 NBA regular season opener is on Oct. 25 at the Brooklyn Nets.

Though the Cavaliers would have liked to have Allen in the preseason as they try to integrate a handful of new players, they might be able to be patient with him after improving their depth across the board.

With emerging star Evan Mobley in the frontcourt and new big man Damian Jones, the Cavs do have options. Bickerstaff said Mobley will remain at power forward in big lineups, but they also will explore smaller lineups with Mobley at center.

Before Allen’s injury, newcomer Max Strus was reportedly in consideration to join a starting lineup that includes the formidable backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. The former Miami Heat player recently said Allen is probably the best rim protector in the NBA.

Allen played 68 regular games in the 2022-23 campaign, his second full season with the Cavaliers, and averaged 14.3 points and team-leading 9.8 rebounds playing more than 32 minutes per contest. He also shot an impressive 64.4 percent from the field, his fourth straight season above 61 percent.

The Cavs play seven of their first 11 games on the road, including a four-game road trip against Western Conference teams in early November. If Allen can maintain his conditioning and recover as expected, he should be able to contribute sometime during the challenging stretch.

Coming off a 51-win season and their first playoff berth since 2018, the Cavaliers are considered an up-and-coming team that could emerge as an NBA title contender this season or in the near future.

The Cavs undoubtedly will need Allen at full strength to turn their goals into reality, so his return to the lineup and how effectively he is able to play when back on the court will definitely be worth watching.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.