Jarrett Allen’s return will make the Cavs more than dark horse threats in East

Cleveland Cavaliers Jarrett Allen (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers Jarrett Allen (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavs could be peaking at the right time with Jarrett Allen set to return from injury. 

When the Cleveland Cavaliers elected to acquire Donovan Mitchell during the offseason, the consensus was that the team took a step forward. However, I’m not sure many expected the Cavs to be a dark horse threat to win the Eastern Conference this season. To say the least, this is a team that has been better than expected.

And with just a few weeks before the start of the NBA Playoffs, the Cavs appear to be rounding into a team that could wreak havoc in the playoffs. In fact, the advanced stats suggest that the Cavs could win the championship this season.

And the team might be peaking at just the right time.

The Cavs are 7-3 in their last 10 games and, specifically, Evan Mobley is quickly emerging as a capable third star next to Mitchell and Darius Garland.

Heading into this season, Mobley was always the one player that could change the ceiling for the Cavs. And at least for now, it seems that he’s making the leap that many were hoping he would be able to make this season with the Cavs.

A difficult road for the Cavs

Objectively, it would be surprising if the Cavs won the East this season. In fact, this is a team that is probably going to have its hands full in a projected first-round matchup against the New York Knicks. And if Cleveland can get past the Knicks, they’re likely going to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

Quite frankly, if I was the Cavs, I’d much rather face the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. I feel as if the Cavs match up much better against those two teams than they do against the Bucks.

Interestingly, the Cavs are 3-1 against the Celtics this season and 1-2 against Philly. They’re 2-2 against the Bucks. But that just goes to show that the Cavs will have the ability to compete with whoever they match up with in the postseason.

And with the impending return of Jarrett Allen, this is a team that could be hitting their ceiling for the season at just the right time. Allen has missed the past four games for the Cavs and the hope is that he will return at some point this week.

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At full strength, the Cavs will have a final couple of weeks of the season to put the finishing touches on what they hope to be a level of basketball that can compete for a championship. The Cavs are no longer just a dark horse threat in the East. They are the real deal, especially if they enter the playoffs fully healthy.