Evan Mobley is the key to the Cavs’ success…
When checking the box score, the usual suspects stood out in the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 131-105 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Donovan Mitchell, once again, put the team on his back, highlighting an explosive 29 points and five assists with a lob to himself in the closing moments of the game. Following Mitchell are Max Strus (22 points, five rebounds), Jarrett Allen (16 points, six rebounds, two blocks), Caris LeVert (15 points) and Isaac Okoro (10 points). Again, the usual suspects stood out for the Cavs and all played a part in securing the team’s 18th home win.
Even on a minute restriction, Darius Garland (11 points, five assists) and Evan Mobley (11 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists) had big nights, respectively, for Cleveland. Other than Mobley flirting with a triple-double, they aren’t the flashiest counting stats, but considering they came in limited minutes, it was to be expected. But with Mobley having the third-most amount of attempts in such a limited stretch, it’s hard to think how much more damage the big man could’ve done with more time on the floor.
Evan Mobley is shining bright for Cavs
“I think he’s got the right mindset,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told ClutchPoints postgame. “Look at what he’s doing – it’s a little bit of everything and almost came up with a triple-double in limited minutes. It speaks to the kind of impact that he can have on the game and I loved how aggressive he was to start the game attacking the basket. He got a couple of bunnies that I’m sure he would like to have back. But, I thought he continued to be aggressive.”
When he’s aggressive like that, it means his mindset was right. When he’s that aggressive, defenses have to make the tough choices and he makes the right decision 100% of the time.”
This performance is coming off the heels of another aggressive Mobley outing against the San Antonio Spurs. In Cleveland’s 117-101 win over San Antonio, Mobley had 28 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and connected on 100 percent of his 3-point attempts. Ever since he returned to the floor and regained his stamina, Mobley has flipped a switch, locked in to picking apart opponents on either end of the floor. It has given the already red-hot Cavs another spark to keep them rolling and, when Mobley is no longer under a minute restriction, his teammates know something big is coming.
“You can tell he’s healthy and that he has his burst back,” Max Strus added. “I’m excited to see what he can do.”
While Bickerstaff told ClutchPoints that the expectation is for everyone, not just Evan Mobley, to be that aggressive, that’s besides the point. Going forward, the way Mobley played against Sacramento and San Antonio is the player Cleveland needs him to be every single night. Mobley has always had the potential to be the best player on either end of the floor for the Cavs, but for a while, it would take time for his offense to catch up to his defensive prowess.
Well, now that Mobley has started to show signs of the two-way monster everyone expected him to be, Cleveland has to fully lean in on this latest development since the Cavs will only go as far as they’ll let Mobley take them.