Cavs center Jarett Allen doesn't practice with rib injury and status for Game 6 in Orlando uncertain

Thu, May 2, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Cavs center Jarett Allen doesn't practice with rib injury and status for Game 6 in Orlando uncertain

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Cavaliers starting center Jarrett Allen did not practice as he continues to be slowed by a painful rib injury that could keep him out of Friday night's critical Game 6 in Orlando.

Allen didn't dress for Cleveland's 104-103 win in Game 5 on Wednesday. The team said Allen, who was injured in Game 4, only received treatment Thursday and did rehab work as his teammates prepared for the Magic.

Cleveland holds a 3-2 lead and can close out the Eastern Conference first-round series with a road win over the Magic, who won Games 3 and 4 at home by a combined 61 points.

Game 7, if needed, would be Sunday in Cleveland.

Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Allen will travel with the team.

"He's still working through some things, still getting treatment," Bickerstaff said. "He'll be with us on the trip, obviously, and we expect him to give it a go if he can."

The 26-year-old has been Cleveland's most consistent player in the series, averaging 17.0 points and 13.8 rebounds in four games. He had 20 rebounds in Game 2.

On Tuesday, Allen sat in street clothes at the end of the Cavs' bench in order to protect his ribs by avoiding any physical contact.

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Bickerstaff said Allen's mobility is impacted by the injury.

"When you do something to your core, any part of your core, I mean that discomfort leads to the breathing piece," Bickerstaff said. "But more the movement and controlling yourself and how you change directions and all those things and raise your arms.

"So many things that are part of basketball. You have to use your core and when that rib is bothering you, it's hard to do all those things."

With Allen out in Game 5, the Cavs slid forward Evan Mobley into the center spot, started Isaac Okoro and gave reserves Tristan Thompson and Marcus Morris Sr. more playing time.

Morris took the minutes that had been going to Georges Niang and contributed 12 points.

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