Jarrett Allen believes he doesn’t get enough recognition: ‘That’s just been happening my whole career’

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen gave an honest response about the lack of recognition that he believes he receives in the national media — perhaps on defense in particular.

Allen, a former first-round pick, has averaged over a block per game in every season of his NBA career, but he’s never been selected to an All-Defensive team.

“Honestly, that’s just been happening my whole career,” Allen said. “I feel like I just go out there and do the work. I know I don’t get national recognition. I know the recognition comes within the organization. One day, it’s gonna be recognized, but, hey, as long as I’m doin’ it for my team, as long as we’re winnin’ games – puttin’ numbers up – that’s good enough for me.”

The Cavs have been winning a lot this season, as they sit in the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Allen has been a major part of that, averaging 16.1 points (tying his career-high), 10.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists (a career-high) and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 62.5 percent from the field.

Now, the big man has been selected to an All-Star Game (back in the 2021-22 season), but he hasn’t received the season-long accolades defensively that he may believe he deserves. Still, Allen insisted that the lack of recognition as a defender doesn’t bother him.

“It doesn’t bother me too much,” Allen said. “I hate to say it like this – at this point, I’m used to it. It’s been happenin’ all my career. So, I just roll with it at this point. I know my worth as a big in this league. I know how good my defense can be. I just keep going.”

The Cavs have to be grateful that Allen has such a hard-working mentality, and it appears he doesn’t let himself get down over the fact that he hasn’t been on the receiving end of many accolades.

Since coming to the Cavs, Allen has really blossomed as a player, averaging over 14 points per game in each of the last three seasons. He also set a career-high in rebounds per game (10.8) during his All-Star season in the 2021-22 campaign.

With Evan Mobley and Allen in the frontcourt, the Cavs have an elite duo of rim protectors that make it tough on opponents to score in the paint.

Mobley has missed a bunch of time this season with ankle and knee injuries, but the Cavs still rank No. 2 in the NBA in opponent points in the paint per game, giving up just 46.4 such points per contest. Only the Chicago Bulls rank better than the Cavs in this statistic.

A lot of that has to do with Allen, who has missed just five games all season.

Hopefully, Allen will start getting the recognition he deserves, especially if he helps lead the Cavs and their defense to a deep playoff run in the 2023-24 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.