On Tuesday night, Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers improved their record on the 2023-24 NBA season to a solid 10-8 with a home win over the Atlanta Hawks in a bit of NBA inaugural In-Season Tournament action. Although the Cavs actually trailed for a good chunk of this one in the first half, Cleveland was able to blitz Atlanta toward the end of the second quarter and then once again coming out of the locker room after halftime, eventually cruising to a 128-105 final margin of victory.
In the game, Mobley was solid, commandeering the paint and shutting off driving lanes for the Hawks throughout the night. In fact, so strong was Mobley’s performance that he became the first nonmember of the Los Angeles Lakers to score at least 17 points, grab at least 19 rebounds, record at least six blocks, and shoot at least seventy percent from the field in a game since the year 2000, per StatMuse on X.
A lot of the Cavs’ success or failure this year will hinge on Mobley’s development. Cavs fans have long been intrigued by the physical profile and unique skillset that Mobley possesses, but up to this point, he hasn’t quite been able to put all of it together, at least not on a consistent enough basis to be a legitimate third option to Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland.
In any case, the Cavs seem to have overcome a slow start to the season and now sit in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Up next for Cleveland is a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 30.