‘Cavs Coach Credits Jarrett Allen for Key Contribution Following Performance Reminiscent of Kevin Love’

The Cleveland Cavaliers stretched their series lead to 2-0 by securing a 96-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 2. With this win, the Cavaliers defended their home court and positioned themselves just two games away from advancing to the second round. Cleveland’s defensive prowess has been instrumental in their success, with much credit attributed to their defensive linchpin, Jarrett Allen.

Allen has rebounded strongly from his struggles in the 2022-23 NBA Playoffs, where he faced challenges in the first-round series against the New York Knicks. Now, he has emerged as a dominant force on the court. Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff emphasized Allen’s importance to the team’s triumphs, particularly noting his contributions in securing rebounds.

“On back-to-back nights, he’s taken it upon himself to make sure we win the [rebounding] battle. We’re not here without him,” stated Bickerstaff.

The Orlando Magic have struggled to contain Allen’s impact on both ends of the court. Despite their reputation as the NBA’s second-best defensive team, the Magic have been unable to stifle the Cavaliers’ offense, with Cleveland scoring under 100 points in each game. Conversely, the Cavaliers’ defense has been exceptional, limiting Orlando to under 90 points in both contests.

Allen’s significance in the series is evident, as reflected in his impressive net ratings of +10 in Game 1 and +12 in Game 2. By fulfilling the necessary role for his team’s success, Allen has etched his name into Cavaliers franchise history.

Allen’s stellar performance solidified his place alongside Kevin Love in the annals of history.

Jarrett Allen Cleveland Cavaliers Orlando Magic NBA Playoffs

The 7-foot center secured his spot among the Cavaliers’ all-time greats. Allen’s tally of 20 rebounds marked a postseason record for the Cavaliers since Kevin Love’s 21 rebounds in Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Allen’s standout performances in the opening two games of this series have been truly exceptional.

Jarrett Allen Stats in Game 1 & 2 vs. Magic
Category Stat
PTS 33
REB 37
FG% 60

Allen has now joined an elite group in franchise history, becoming just the third player to record 20+ rebounds in a single playoff game, alongside Love and Brad Daugherty. Following the Cavaliers’ Game 1 triumph, Allen disclosed that Bickerstaff had been urging him and Evan Mobley all week to establish dominance for this series. The duo, pillars of Cleveland’s frontcourt, have risen admirably to the challenge. Allen’s performance in this game places him second on that list, behind Love, and he shows no signs of letting up.

A notable statistic from GIVEMESPORT highlights Allen’s remarkable rebounding prowess: in five games against the Knicks in the 2023 Playoffs, he amassed 37 rebounds. Remarkably, in just two games against the Magic, Allen has already matched that total.

While Allen celebrates his achievement alongside Cavaliers legends, he also pays tribute to another influential Cavalier big man: Anderson Varejao. Despite acknowledging Varejao’s strengths and limitations, Allen admires his relentless effort on the court and aims to emulate it.

Heading into the series, Allen emphasized the importance of setting the tone early, a goal the Cavaliers have accomplished. However, he and his teammates recognize that protecting home-court and seizing a 2-0 series lead is only a step towards their ultimate goal of winning the series. The true test lies in maintaining their success on the road in Orlando, in a hostile environment. Cleveland aims to improve to 3-0, a feat no team in NBA history has ever overcome, on Thursday, April 25 at 7 PM ET.

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