Evan Mobley’s provides window into who he can become with career night: ‘He can be as good as he wants to be’

CLEVELAND, OH — One man who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers knows Evan Mobley better than anyone.

Isaiah Mobley. Evan’s older brother and teammate.

Isaiah — the No. 49 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, who will likely hop between the NBA and the G League this season on a two-way deal, going to Salt Lake City as a G League All-Star — will likely head to Salt Lake City as a G League All-Star. We had a front row seat to a phenomenal climb. On Saturday night, Isaiah dismantled the Milwaukee Bucks and gave young Mobley the nickname “Fourth Quarter Eve” as he closed out his career night with a late-game artistry that Isaiah witnessed countless times. Wearing. and a more creative moniker.

“I’m not one to put a cap on anyone,” Isaiah told cleveland.com in the hilarious locker room after Cleveland’s 114-102 win over short-handed Milwaukee. As long as he stays on course and does the extra stuff, I think the limits are endless, he can be a legend, he can be in the Hall of Fame, he can be where he is for the rest of his career. It’s up to him.”

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The second-year pro, who has an extraordinary skill set and continues to have superstar potential, showed it all on Saturday night.

Mobley scored a career-high 38 points on highly efficient 19-of-27 shooting from the field without making a free throw or a 3-pointer. He is the fourth player to score at least 38 points without making a free throw or triple since the three-point line was adopted in 1979. Hakeem Olajuwon, Alex English and George Gervin are among them. Olajuwon accomplished this feat in his 1997.

“I don’t know if he’s a 38-point scorer every night, but I think that’s his ability,” Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff said. Evan is a basketball player He plays the game the right way He is told to shoot more and score more goals “But he doesn’t force things. In that sense, he’s a basketball purist. He was aggressive. He was assertive. He was aggressive.”

All but three of Mobley’s 19 makes were in Paint. He dunked four times.

“He knew no one could stop him tonight and he took advantage of that,” said frontcourt mate Jarrett Allen. “He was ready to play from the start.”

Isaiah Did Not Always See exterior From Evan – a roar followed by a roar after a tearing dunk. The 7-footer repeatedly overwhelmed the small defender with a switch. There was a concerted effort to reach the rim. His shooting stroke was pure. He saw the ball go through the hoop – an early confidence booster.

Milwaukee tried different tactics. Multiple defenders have been replaced. Brook Lopez, Defensive Player of the Year nominee. Bobby Portisjour Holliday. no one stood a chance. Not this night. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the fifth game with a sore knee.

The Bucks’ pick-and-roll drop coverage helped Mobley keep digging into his pocket. While some teams would normally substitute Mobley on catches and be forced to either be a passer or play in the crowd, the Bucks’ stay-at-home style gave Mobley a one-on-one opportunity. He used his length to leap over the top. He used his speed, quickness and agility to soar to the rim for slams and layups. His teammates also deserve plenty of credit for repeating the set-up.

By the end of the first half, Mobley had poured in 18 points. This was his highest score in the first half of his career, and he broke that mark with an even more spectacular second half.

“I felt like he was pushing it early on and he kept at it. It wasn’t like he was pushing the envelope,” Isaiah said. “I was like, ‘As long as they keep giving it to you, keep shooting it all night.’ We didn’t know how great that night was going to be, but he was a man who thought he might have the chance to have the best night of his career. It looked like…he did it.

Mobley scored another 20 points in the second half, including 14 in the fourth quarter. He scored 12 of Cleveland’s first 15 points to open his fourth, pulling away from the Bucks and sabotaging a late-game comeback attempt.

“It was just one of those days,” Mobley said humbly. “I’ve always had the confidence to go out and do these kinds of things. I have to go out and do them.”

Mobley is usually 3rd or lower in the offensive pecking order, but can be 4th or 5th depending on the lineup. An All-Star who prefers passing to scoring he points he guard Darius Garland told Mobley to get mad if he doesn’t get enough shot attempts or touches. Garland wants Mobley to be more involved in his end offensively and claim the ball, especially when there is a size mismatch. Garland wants more Mobley on Saturday.

“I want to see it literally every night,” Garland said. “I want him to be more aggressive.”

Even Isaiah, who usually knows the right button to press, is trying to bring out Evan’s inner monster.

“He’s so young and still learning. This is his second year of professional basketball in the biggest league in the world. I think he’s trying to understand the game within the game,” Isaiah said. “I think tonight was one of those exhibits where he figured it out and showed who he could be. It’s a great example of that and I’m really proud of him.” He’s in the gym, we work when we can, and lately he feels like he’s getting it and hopefully he’ll continue to do it.”

Saturday night was Mobley’s ninth straight double-digit game. In his 10 games this month, he is averaging 17.2 points and 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 blocks on a 59.1% goal-per-field percentage.

I hope the message got across.

“You definitely feel better and more confident after a match like this,” Mobley said. “With this win, I’m going to move on to the next and play with just as much confidence. I’ve always believed that I’ve grown and been a top player. Try to be as consistent as possible.” , just actually do it.”

Two nights ago, before the Cavs suffered an embarrassing loss to the underhanded Warriors, Bickerstaff was asked about Mobley’s growth in his second year.

how good is he Why are the second year numbers similar? Does the organization still have astronomical expectations? Does Mobley understand his importance to the team’s success? Is he heading in the right direction? Why is he so passive at times? Doesn’t he realize how good he is yet?

That last one led to untamed boasting.

“I think Evan knows how good he wants to be. Knowing that, he’s a perfectionist and spends all his time doing things you don’t think you’re working on your craft, and we’ve talked about it many times. There’s a version of Evan that dominates the league, and we’ve seen it.He’s consistently thinking in his defensive moments, but there’s also an offensive version.

“I think he will come.”

A little over 24 hours after that declaration, Mobley did its part.

“He can make an impact on both ends of the court,” veteran Ricky Rubio told cleveland.com. “Normally when you have these very talented guys they only see attacks. But he can do it on both ends. You can use He can do great things We’ll see how it all develops I don’t want to compare him to anyone He’s a quiet guy But if you look up you can see five Blocks, 10 rebounds, double-digit points.He’s filling up his stat sheets every night.It’s just not being met.You have to keep wanting more.”

Ever since Mobley entered the league with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and was quickly plastered on downtown billboards and stamped as a pillar of the franchise, he has shown his ability to make a difference. rice field. Given his fluctuating offensive role and fluctuating touch, evaluating him was about impact rather than production. It should be left alone.he is not the man With an offensive end – yet. Partly because he doesn’t have to be. He’s been named an All-Star three times Donovan He’s not Mitchell and Garland running the show. Mobley also lacks the physical maturity and polish to be a consistent offensive focal point.

But nights like Saturday give us hope that one day his offense can catch up to the exceptional defense.

“He’s a winner,” said Bickerstaff. “I can handle the pressure and be able to handle it in the moment. I think you’re the winner and when it’s at stake you just do what wins and that’s him.”

As cleveland.com wrapped up locker room interviews with various players following Mobley’s career night, versatile forward Dean Wade, who returned Saturday from a seven-week absence due to shoulder and ankle injuries, said: , overheard one of the questions and called out from afar.

That person.

Saturday saw Mobley NBA executives pegged as the breakout player of the season. It was Mobley I drew when I gave him the clip. Saturday is why the Cavaliers have a grand vision and are confident he will be a star. That’s why his teammates call him “Unicorn”. The next part of his development is that he plays that way more often.

Was that peak Mobley? What kind of face does that person have?

“Like tonight,” Mobley said stoically. “Be active in areas on the floor, build your game and stay ahead.”

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