East Notes: Cavs, Jarrett Allen, Knicks, Heat, Jimmy Butler

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Cavaliers

Center Jarrett Allen is continuing to rehab his lower back contusion, though it does not appear there is an update or timeframe when he might return to action.

The Cavaliers host the Magic on Friday night.

“From what I understand he’s gotten better and then it’s just a matter of how quickly he can progress,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “It’s been slow, obviously, it’s not where he wants it to be where he’d be able to play. He’s been doing things in the water and trying it out even on game days to see, and we just won’t put him out there when he’s not in position to protect himself.”

  • Power forward Evan Mobley seems to be coming around the past few weeks, and Bickerstaff indicated that’s not necessarily a surprise. “I think sometimes his calm demeanor can fool us,” Bickerstaff said, via Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “But I don’t know anybody who has the fire that burns hotter than his when it comes to competition. He’s not afraid.”
  • Even minus Allen for the past several games, the Cavs (14-8) have won six of eight. For more, check out the latest Dribbles right here.

Knicks

While coach Tom Thibodeau could be closing in on the hot seat, the Knicks players don’t seem overly concerned with the team’s uneven start.

“If you’re watching us play, you see that we’re doing a lot of good things,” guard/forward RJ Barrett said, via Ian Begley of SNY.tv. “We lost a couple close games to some good teams, so we’ve just got to learn from those specific situations and get better so that we can come out with those wins and really string them together.”

  • The Knicks are among the teams that have been linked to available Suns forward Jae Crowder. We have the latest on all that right here.

Heat

  • Star wing Jimmy Butler is expected to return from a seven-game absence on Friday for the Heat’s game vs. the Celtics, as relayed by Jayden Armant of SI.com. Butler has been out with a right knee injury.
  • The Heat (10-12) won three of those games without Butler. “We’re all excited for him to come back,’ forward Max Strus said, via Armant. “We can use him out there for sure.”
  • Power forward Bam Adebayo had some strong words about the officiating after Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics. “It’s hard to get a team out of flow when we only shoot nine free throws and they shoot 23,” Adebayo said, via Shandel Richardson of SI.com. “I feel like that’s the deciding factor right there. I feel like we shoot 18 total free throws, we’re in the ball game.” 

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