Cavaliers All-Star Returning For Do-Or-Die Play-In Game

It's official: Cavaliers All-Star Jarrett Allen will return for Cleveland's do-or-die play-in game versus the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is a huge boost in every sense of the word for the Cavaliers, who are looking to book their first playoff appearance since 2018.

Allen has been out of commission since March 6 after suffering a fractured finger in a game versus the Toronto Raptors. The Cavs went 7-11 through the final 18 games of the regular season without him.

Allen was a major reason why Cleveland had a Cinderella campaign that saw them still vying for a top-four seed midway through the season. In 56 games, the 23-year-old averaged career-bests of 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds while anchoring a Cavs defense that finished 5th in defensive rating this season.

Unfortunately, injuries caught up with the Cavaliers and they eventually plummeted down the East standings late in the campaign.

Allen tried to give it a go in Cleveland's first play-in tournament game last Monday versus the Brooklyn Nets. But ultimately, the big man did not suit up and watched as the Nets marched onto the playoffs as the no. 7 seed in the East.

The Cavaliers still have a chance to break their four-year playoff drought by defeating last year's Eastern Conference Finalist Atlanta Hawks. 

Cleveland (44-38) earned the right to hold home court for this win-or-go-home affair by finishing as the 8th seed in the regular season and one game above the 9th seed Hawks (43-39).

Tip-off is at 7:30pm ET.

Photo Credit: © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports