3 Cavaliers Bold Predictions Coming Out of the All-Star Break

The Cavaliers have shockingly been one of the best teams in the NBA through the first half of the regular season. Here are three bold predictions that fans should look out for after the All-Star break.

Feb 14, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) drives
Feb 14, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) drives / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have surprisingly been one of the best teams in the NBA this season, as they have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (36-17) and are 2.5 games up on the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Central Division.

Many fans believed the NBA’s Central Division would come down to the Bucks or Indiana Pacers heading into this season. However, J.B. Bickerstaff’s Cavs had other plans and looked poised to make a deep playoff run this spring.

The Cavaliers have the perfect blend of offense and defense in their starting lineup, as they have a tremendous backcourt with Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. 

Then, in the frontcourt, Cleveland has Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, who can score but also protect the rim.

Cleveland has a lot of promise, potential, and now playoff experience that should help them going into the second half of the season. Below, we’ll discuss a few of our bold predictions for the resurgent Cavaliers.

1. Jarrett Allen Wins Defensive Player of the Year

On the surface, this might not be considered a bold prediction, but in the betting world, it would be a massive win for the Cavaliers veteran center.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Minnesota Timberwolves center and three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert is the overwhelming favorite to win another DPOY award (-750).

However, Allen is right behind Gobert in the race with the second-best odds at +1000, followed by San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama (+2500). One could make the case Allen plays an integral part in the Cavaliers’ defensive success, just like Gobert does with the T’Wolves.

Allen is ranked third in DRtg (defensive rating) at 108, 17th in Defensive Rebounding Pct (25), and ninth in Defensive Win Shares (2.8). Meanwhile, Gobert is ranked first in Defensive Win Shares (4.2), first in DRtg (104), and seventh in Defensive Rebounding Pct (29).

As we see, many of the categories don’t favor the 25-year-old Allen, especially since he plays with another good defensive big man in Evan Mobley. However, Allen will have a couple of marquee television games against the Philadelphia 76ers (2/23) and New York Knicks (3/3) where he can sway the narrative in his direction.