While it wasn’t official, rookie center/forward Evan Mobley wore a uniform that read “Cavs” on it for the first time.
It took place at the Las Vegas Summer League, an 84-76 loss to Jalen Green and the Rockets.
Overall, Mobley looked just OK, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting. But man, he had his moments. You could see the potential was there. He looked like the kind of big man who will be even better with an acutal roster of NBA players around him.
“It was a good first game. I feel like I got where I wanted to, just the shots didn’t fall tonight,” Mobley said. “I’m just going to keep doing the same thing.”
Cleveland selected Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick out of USC. He showed flashes of determination and athletecism that makes you think he could be a difference-maker for a team screaming for one. That included a highlight-reel dunk right over Rockets rookie Alperen Sengun.
Evan Mobley RISE UP! pic.twitter.com/nw6H9RjODW
— NBA Summer League (@NBASummerLeague) August 8, 2021
He also threw down an alley-oop jam and displayed some range on his shot.
“I thought he did really good,” said Cavs summer coach J.J. Outlaw. “He loves to compete. He plays with a motor, he plays at a high level. I think as a team we have to do a better job getting him the ball in scoring positions, scoring timing, but I think that’s something that we need to get better at overall as a team.”
The plan for Outlaw and the Cavs is to keep getting the ball to Mobley more often so that he can feel comfortable heading into training camp in less than two months.
“Reps, reps, reps,” Outlaw said. “We wanted to get him the ball in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different spots out on the floor tonight. I thought we did that.
“We got it to him on the elbow. He had a couple of ISO situations. We got it to him on the block. We got it to him on the trail spot. We got it to him out of pick-and-roll. And so it’s just more about taking that film, taking what happened and seeing where he’s most comfortable.”
Meawhile, Green was the best player on the court with 23 points and five rebounds. He will face No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham and the Pistons on Wednesday.
Mobley and the Cavs also return to action on Wednesday, tipping off vs. the Magic at 6 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on ESPN2.