Cavs vs Magic Game 6 NBA Playoff Preview: Will Jarrett Allen Play?

The Cavaliers are prepared to play 15 rounds with the Magic.

After Game 5 became a back-and-forth slugfest that the Cavs narrowly won thanks to Evan Mobley's crucial block on Franz Wagner, the Cavs travel to Orlando for Game 6 on Friday night where they hope to close out the series.

But they know this test won't be easy. The Magic destroyed the Cavs in both games played in Orlando early in the series and were particularly physical in all five games.

If the Cavs now want to prevent Game 7 – which would take place on Sunday in Cleveland if necessary – from being all about the winner, they have to send the Magic home. And the Cavs know they won't go down without a fight.

“I mean, you’re getting ready for a fist fight,” Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff said. “That's what it's going to come down to. It will be a physical game. We expect that. But it’s one of those things where you have to be mentally prepared from the start of the game.”

The Cavs relied on Marcus Morris Sr. in Game 5, who became an unlikely hero in their decisive win. But alongside Morris, others – including Tristan Thompson, Georges Niang and Max Strus – have all contributed to the Cavaliers' more physical identity.

It will undergo another test on Friday evening.

Jarrett Allen injury: The Cavaliers center remains questionable for Game 6 against the Orlando Magic

The Cavs remain uncertain whether their big man will be available for Game 6.

Jarrett Allen, a key factor in the Cavs' victories in Games 1 and 2, missed Game 5 after suffering an elbow to the ribs in Game 4.

Allen will at least travel to Orlando with the team. But whether he will be able to wear the suit is yet to be determined.

“He’s still working through some things and still getting treatment,” Bickerstaff said. “He will accompany us on the journey. Of course we expect him to try if he can.”

Part of the problem, and the reason Allen's status is still uncertain, is that the rib injury affects a number of different movements that Allen would rely on during a physical game. The Cavs need him to the fullest because while they've had success with a one-big offense style, they also see Allen as the core of their defense.

“It's like when you do something with your core, with any part of that core, that discomfort leads to breathing, but more the movement and the control of yourself and how you change direction and all those things Raising your arm, it's so many things.” “Part of basketball,” Bickerstaff said. “You have to use your core, and if your rib is bothering you, it’s difficult to do any of those things.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him in threads at @ByRyanLewis.

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