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1 pleasant surprise for the Cavs early in 2021-22 NBA season

Evan Mobley, Cavs, Kevin Love, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland

If there’s one pleasant surprise so far for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, it’s the instant impact of rookie Evan Mobley. Mobley, who was selected third by the Cavs has shown so much potential in the first few games. Before entering the league, he was scouted as a taller Chris Bosh but with a tendency to protect the rim. Mobley was also compared to LaMarcus Aldridge but with better mobility, agility and open court speed. And so far, Mobley has shown these exact flashes. 

Mobley is arguably the best performing rookie in the season so far. He’s averaging 13.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He’s a scorer and an actual defensive threat. Although he may still be raw, Mobley has shown that he can keep up with some of the best players in the league. Last week, Mobley went up against Lakers big Anthony Davis — who the rookie was also compared to a ton before entering the draft. 

Davis himself commended Mobley for how well he played against the Lakers. Mobley had a great overall game as he was consistently giving the LA trouble in the paint. The Cavs managed to keep up with the Lakers but the superstar dominant team ended up closing the game. Nevertheless, Mobley still received impressive feedback from Davis after the game. 

“This is my first time seeing him play, to be honest,” Davis said. “He’s probably the same size I was coming into the league. Pretty skinny. Elite shot-blocker. Lob threat. Kind of has some of the same things I had when I was coming into the league,” Davis said.

“But probably shot it a little bit better than me. His game is going to progress. He’s going to keep getting better and better. You see the potential to be a three-level scorer, watching film on him a little before the game. I seen him shoot the 3. He hit one tonight. I seen him hit the midrange and floaters. He’d go to the post a lot in the game I’ve watched. He has the potential to be very good. It takes time. But I don’t really compare myself to anybody,” Davis added. 

Aside from Davis, Mobley also impressed Cleveland native LeBron James — which is a huge compliment for the rookie. James was probably also impressed with Mobley’s 23 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals statline:

“He’s going to be a damn good basketball player in this league, the Cavs have a good one. “They’ve done a good job over the years in the draft, I’ll say,” James said.

Mobley’s performance is definitely a pleasant surprise for Cleveland because it provides yet another validation that they struck gold in the draft once again. It also helps the Cavs are rebuilding so there’s no pressure on Mobley to carry this team to the playoffs, at least for now. Mobley can focus on developing and getting himself adjusted to the league. Thankfully for the Cavs, he’s already had progress in that regard. 

“I feel like I’m getting adjusted to the NBA pretty fast,” Mobley said. “I’m catching on to a lot of things. I feel like as I play more and more games, I’m going to get better and more acclimated. I feel like I’m ahead of schedule so far,” Mobley added.

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