Unavailable for 11 matches due to a severe right ankle sprain, Lauri Markkanen found the 5 major of the Cavaliers this week, on the occasion of the resumption of the season after the break of the All-Star Weekend. This bad memory behind him, he quickly found feelings: 22 points and 6 rebounds during the loss against the Pistons, then 23 rebounds and 6 rebounds in the victory against Washington.
Still a little clumsy (12/34 cumulatively), the strong winger knows that he still has to adjust the sights but enjoyed finally reuniting with his teammates. ” It is an ongoing process. I think maybe I’m rushing a bit, I’m trying to quickly catch up with the rhythm of the matches. I only practiced for a few hours before the game against Detroit, and [ce soir] it was only my second game. […] The more I play, the more the rhythm will come back. I’m still trying to find the right balance.”
In his absence, the Cavaliers have largely held firm (7 wins, 4 losses), but his coach JB Bickerstaff still wanted to recall the importance of the former Bull in the success of the club this season, especially in attack. ” I think we underestimate him. He went through a difficult year, between the Covid and the injuries. But it is an important weapon in our attack. So we have to find ways to involve him more, so that he continues to contribute as he did tonight.“
For his part, Jarrett Allen appreciated the return of “tall-ball” in the 5 majors of the Cavs: “ We know everyone’s preferences, we know how we’re going to play he noted, referring to the Markkanen-Mobley-Allen alignment in Cleveland’s frontcourt. ” We are constantly looking for each other, I found Lauri on a lob pass during the first half, then he found me during the fourth quarter. We like to play for each other.“
Solidly installed in 4th place in the Eastern Conference (36-24), but tied for the number of victories with their pursuers (Milwaukee 36-25, Boston 36-26), the Cavaliers will have to shift into fifth gear during the last line. right if they want to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs next April. In this, Markkanen’s return is timely.