Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has had the splint removed from his injured left hand, but isn’t expected to play in Tuesday’s play-in road game against the Nets, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
Allen has been sidelined since March 6 with a fractured finger. He could be seen putting in a brief workout prior to the Cavs’ regular-season finale against the Bucks. The Cavs (44-38) are eight in the Eastern Conference headed into the play-in tournament.
While Allen could return for a second play-in game or the playoffs, should the Cavs participate in either, a source told Fedor it is “unrealistic” for Allen to play against the Nets. Another of Fedor’s sources indicated that coach J.B. Bickerstaff is preparing the team as if Allen won’t play.
“I can’t give you an exact timeline,” Bickerstaff told reporters. “He’s doing more and more with that hand. It’s just a matter of time.
“It’s a structure thing first and foremost. You always want to make sure that it’s as healthy as it possibly can be. In his position, the banging that he does, on the rim, like blocking shots, all those things. Then it becomes pain tolerance. Then strengthening and his ability to use that finger. But he’s making steps. It’ll be one of those things where the day will come and he’ll be ready to go.”
Allen, 23, is coming off his first All-Star appearance and averaging 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds in 56 games. His biggest impact is on the defensive end, anchoring the Cavs’ triple tower frontcourt that also includes Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen.
If the Cavs beat the Nets, they would enter the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. If they lose, they would face the winner of the Hawks-Hornets game. The winner of that game would enter the playoffs as the No. 8 and final seed.
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