J.B. Bickerstaff offers key update on Jarrett Allen ahead of Cavs season opener vs. Nets

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Cleveland Cavaliers star center Jarrett Allen missed the entirety of the team’s preseason with an ankle injury.

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff offered a key update on the big man ahead of Cleveland’s season opener against Mikal Bridges and the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 25.

Allen has played for the Nets and Cavaliers across his time in the NBA after being chosen with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 64.4 percent from the field in 68 appearances with the Cavaliers during the 2022-23 regular season, his third season with the team.

The big man wasn’t able to sustain his high level of play during the 2022-23 regular season in the 2023 playoffs, unfortunately. The Cavaliers played the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, and Allen arguably got outplayed by New York’s starting center, Mitchell Robinson. Allen averaged just 9.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the series, while Robinson averaged 8.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

The Cavaliers lost the first-round series against the Knicks in five games. They lost three straight after winning Game 2 of the series.

Allen’s best season in the NBA to this point came during the 2021-22 season, his second season with the Cavaliers. He averaged 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in 56 games played during the regular season and even earned an All-Star nod for his two-way impact with the team.

The 2021-22 iteration of the Cavaliers won 44 games during the regular season but missed out on the playoffs after losing to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in tournament. Young scored a whopping 38 points in the win and converted 13 of his 25 field-goal attempts.

Bickerstaff’s update seems to indicate that Allen’s status for Wednesday’s game against the Nets is up in the air right now. Not having Allen on the floor would be a huge blow to Cleveland, as he is undoubtedly one of the team’s best rebounders and defenders.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.