Jarrett Allen of the Cavaliers wins votes for the All-Defensive Team during a stellar season

May 23, 2024

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Jarrett Allen, the tall center for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been rightfully chosen for the 2023–24 NBA All-Defensive Team, which is a clear testament to his defensive abilities. This esteemed award is a worthy homage to Allen’s steadfast devotion to the less glamorous aspects of the game, which has been evident throughout the Wine and Gold’s successful campaign yet again.

In fact, Allen’s standing among the top defensive units in the league highlights his vital role in a Cavaliers team that had just three players play in 70 or more games during the demanding regular season. Allen proved to be a crucial deterrent with his commanding presence patrolling the paint; his mere presence caused continual anxiety for opposing attackers.

The heart of Allen’s defensive brilliance is embodied in the unforgettable image of him forcefully turning down Paolo Banchero’s jump jumper in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs against the Orlando Magic. Allen’s towering size and perfect timing came together to deny the skilled forward in that crucial play, which was played under the bright lights of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. It was a single play that summed up his season-long dedication to the defensive end.

Being selected for the NBA All-Defensive Team is a highly esteemed achievement, especially in this day and age when the league has adopted a positionless voting scheme, making the honor even more unique and significant. Nonetheless, Allen’s selection is evidence of his unrelenting commitment and a well-earned acknowledgment of his ceaseless efforts to support the Cavaliers’ defensive strategies.

The NBA announced its coveted All-Defensive Team picks for the 2023–24 season, and Jarrett Allen, the towering center for the Cleveland Cavaliers, found himself on the outside looking in. This news has shocked the basketball world. Even though Allen scored a respectable 20 points throughout the voting process, he was unable to secure a desired berth on the first or second team.

NBA Communications made the news on Monday, showcasing a formidable group of defensive mainstays who, in the eyes of the electorate, had surpassed Allen. The First Team had four formidable big men—Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the unstoppable Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers—who had made a lasting impression with their ability to guard the rim.

Although Allen’s rejection from the elite ranks was clearly painful to accept, his 20-point vote total highlighted the regard he enjoys from both his colleagues and the basketball elite. He received eight second-place votes, each worth one point, to go along with his one first-place vote, which was worth a desired two points. These votes were evidence of his defensive prowess and persistent dedication to the less glamorous aspects of the game.

Despite Allen’s remarkable point total, he was unable to advance to the top of the All-Defensive Teams and ended up languishing in 14th place overall. This unfortunate turn of events saw him narrowly lose out to players from the Oklahoma City Thunder, including Luguentz Dort (34 points) and Chet Holmgren (21 points), as well as the legendary Kawhi Leonard (29 points) of the Los Angeles Clippers, who were on the de facto Honorable Mention list.

Despite this loss, Allen’s defensive brilliance was evident throughout the Cavaliers’ postseason run, with his commanding presence being especially noticeable in the team’s opening two games against the Orlando Magic. Even though a persistent rib injury ultimately limited his postseason play, Allen left a lasting impression with an incredible 26 defensive rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks, all of which attested to his unwavering dedication to the defensive end of the court.

With a remarkable average of 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game for the third straight season, Allen’s defensive credentials remain solid, even when the dust settles on this latest All-Defensive Team rejection. The indefatigable center’s unwavering quest of defensive brilliance remains undiminished, even though he may not have received the coveted All-Defensive designation this time around. This sets the stage for what should be an exciting ride in the upcoming seasons.

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