The All-Star reserves squad was named, and while the Cavs got Darius Garland on the roster, Jarrett Allen was a notably left off.
It was surprising to see Allen left off the East team, because the bench has virtually no height, with 6-foot-8 Jayson Tatum as the tallest reserve.
Allen’s All-Star hopes aren’t dead, yet, thorough, as Kevin Love sounded the Twitter alarm for Allen to be Kevin Durant’s injury replacement.
Commissioner Adam Silver would be responsible for naming Allen’s replacement–and this is a slam dunk decision as far PR goes. All the Stars are already there and the host city is enjoying a basketball revival. Put Allen in there and left everyone go nuts.
From an actual strategy standpoint, not that strategy much comes into play during an All-Star game, the East is going to be hurting for size with Durant out. The only height the East has to speak of comes via Giannis and Joel Embiid.
Allen is averaging 16 points and 10.9 rebounds per night. He’s also averaging 1.9 blocks per game. He’s one of the big reasons the Cavs’ have been able to flip their fortunes from perennial loser without LeBron James, to playoff contender at the mid-way point of the season.
Cavs’ Darius Garland deserved it
While it’s a bummer we have to wait and see about Allen, celebrate Garland being an All-Star, because it was making him the fifth-pick in the draft that really set this rebuild in motion.
Heck, nobody knew it at the time as Garland really struggled through his rookie season after playing just five games at Vanderbilt before injuring his knee.
Garland did show glimpses of being a special player late last year, but it was this season, that he really turned the corner and headed to the All-Star stratosphere.
I’m not sure what the Cavs are saying about, but teaming up Garland with Ricky Rubio, a veteran point guard who could score and dish, seemed to really lift Garland’s play.