Cavs’ Allen: ‘I’m part of the top 24 players in the NBA at this All-Star Weekend’

After a long wait, Cavs center Jarrett Allen finally got the call for the 2022 All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Allen, who made the game for the first time in his career as a reserve, along with his teammate Darius Garland, is having a career year as he ranks among NBA leaders in FG% (2nd, .665), double-doubles (T-6th, 30), and RPG (10th, 11.1).

In addition, he’s recorded ten games this season of 15-plus points and 15-plus rebounds, and when he records a double-double, Cleveland is 25-5.

All told, Allen, 23, is averaging career-highs in points (16.2), rebounds (11.0), and assists (1.8) per game. 

“It’s still a lot to take in,” Allen said of making the All-Star Game. “I don’t think I’ve fully grasped the moment that I’m in. I’m part of the top 24 players in the NBA at this All-Star Weekend, so I’m just excited; I’m ready to take it all in and just enjoy every moment.”

The five-year veteran has turned himself into one of the better centers in basketball and discussed what it’s like to guard the better bigs in the game like Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid.

On Antetokounmpo:

“I always find it a fun matchup guarding Giannis. He has so many things to his game. He’s starting to add his jump shot to the game. Obviously, he’s a force going to the paint, so it’s an awesome matchup.”

On Jokic:

“Truly difficult to cover. If you let your guard down even for a split second, he’s going to make a pass to the corner. If you let your guard down for a split second, he’s going to somehow do three spin moves on you and have an open lay-up at the rim. He just has so many things to his package that you have to guard.”

On Embiid:

“I mean, obviously, Embiid had the triple-double on me, but Embiid is a brute. Embiid is going to back down; he’s going to punish you, and he has all the skill, but at the same time, Jokic might have a 15-15-15 night. Both matchups are tough.”

At this point, Cleveland(35-23) is the fourth seed in the East and is 2.5 games behind the Bulls and the Heat for the top spot in the conference. Many teams are bunched up in the East, and only five games separate the seventh-seeded Raptors from the Bulls and the Heat.

“I mean, you look at the East, it’s like you win three games, and now you’re all of a sudden a seven seed,” Allen said. “It’s a crazy race, and it’s those big moves that could change a lot.”

So much could change from this point until the end of the season. With 24 games left, Cleveland is in a prime position to do big things in the East. We’ll see how that works out the rest of the way, but for now, Allen should enjoy All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.


Cavs’ Jarrett Allen named to 2022 NBA All-Star Game

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden on Team LeBron in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced Monday.

Due to a left hamstring injury, Harden is unable to play in the game.

The 23-year-old Allen is the second Cleveland player to be named a first-time NBA All-Star this season, joining guard Darius Garland, who was drafted by Team LeBron. Behind Allen and Garland, the Cavaliers (35-22) have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Allen has earned his first NBA All-Star selection. He is averaging a career-high 16.2 points, a career-high 11.1 rebounds, and 1.35 blocked shots in 49 games this season. A five-year NBA veteran, Allen ranks ninth in the league in rebounds per game and 13th in blocks per game. He also ranks second in the NBA in field goal percentage at a career-high 66.5 percent and tied for sixth in double-doubles with 30.

The matchup between Team LeBron and Team Durant in the 71st NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Cavs’ Darius Garland named NBA All-Star reserve

When LeBron James left the Cavs after the 2018 season, Cleveland began to rebuild, and four seasons later, things are starting to turn around for the Cavaliers as they are 31-21 and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, and a big reason for the turnaround, is now an All-Star.

Darius Garland has been selected as a reserve for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland, the league announced Thursday night.

This marks the first NBA All-Star selection for Garland, as well as the first for a Cavaliers player since Kevin Love and LeBron James in 2018.

The 71st annual NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20 at familiar place for Garland, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The 22-year-old Garland has recorded career highs in points (19.8), rebounds (3.3), assists (8.2, seventh-best in NBA), steals (1.23), minutes (34.7), field goal percentage (.467) and free throw percentage (.907, fifth-best in NBA) over his 44 appearances (all starts) this season. The third-year guard is one of only two NBA players averaging at least 19.0 points on .460 shooting or better and 7.0 assists (Nikola Jokić) and leads the entire Eastern Conference in plus/minus at +317. Garland has eight games of at least 20 points and 10 assists (third-most in East) and his 16 double-doubles are more than twice as many as his first two NBA seasons combined (seven).

Additionally, he became the fourth-youngest player in Cavaliers history to notch a triple-double in a win at Utah on Jan. 12 (LeBron James, Brad Daugherty, Kyrie Irving) and just the third player in NBA history to have a game of at least 27 points, 18 assists and five rebounds before age 22 during Cleveland’s victory at Oklahoma City on Jan. 15 (Trae Young, Luka Dončić).

An NBA All-Star Draft to determine team rosters will be announced on February 10 as team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant will draft from the pool of 22 players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.