A right eye injury that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen suffered in Friday’s loss at Miami may not be as bad as the team originally feared, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Allen walked to the locker room with a towel over his eye after being swiped by Bam Adebayo during a battle for a rebound late in the fourth quarter. He’s listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game at Charlotte, but a source told Fedor that the eye “looked better than expected,” adding that Allen will “hopefully be back sooner rather than later.”
In his game story Friday night, Fedor asked coach J.B. Bickerstaff what a prolonged absence for Allen would mean to a team that’s battling to hang onto home-court advantage in the playoffs.
“Obviously, we would miss him,” Bickerstaff said. “We would miss all the things that he brings on both sides of the court. His ability to protect the paint, anchor our defense and just his spirit. Everyone would have to step up. A lot of that would put Evan (Mobley) at more of the 5 spot and he would have to take over those responsibilities. But we believe Evan is capable of doing so and we have other guys who can help as well. It’ll be opportunities for other guys to go and contribute, which is what they will want to do.”
There’s more on the Cavaliers:
- A quad injury that forced Darius Garland to miss the game in Miami is considered minor, but it could prevent him from playing again Sunday, Fedor adds. Garland suffered the injury in the second half of Wednesday’s game and wasn’t able to take part in the team’s shootaround or his pregame workout on Friday.
- The Cavaliers agreed to a buyout with Kevin Love because he fell out of their rotation, but Joe Vardon of The Athletic notes that several prominent bench players haven’t been as productive since Love left. Dean Wade, Caris LeVert, Ricky Rubio and Cedi Osman are all playing fewer minutes than their season averages and have struggled to contribute since the buyout occurred.
- Playing two straight games in Miami allowed the Cavaliers to experience something close to a playoff atmosphere, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Cleveland won on Wednesday and the teams had an off day to make adjustments before playing again Friday. “That’s what the playoffs are going to be,” said Donovan Mitchell, one of just two Cavs starters with playoff experience. “If this was a playoff series, we still won one, and that’s kind of the mindset.”