Point guard Darius Garland is among those who are believers in Cavs power forward Evan Mobley.
“Yeah. I’ve said it for two years now, he should have been Rookie of the Year last year, Garland said, via the Cavs website. “He’s up for Defensive Player of the Year this year. He definitely took another leap this year. You see the growth. Every game he gets better and better. He’s really starting to find himself as a basketball player in this league.”
Mobley, 21, has put together an increase in nearly every statistical category in his second season — averaging 16.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and shooting 55 percent from the field. He appeared in 69 games last season and has already played 71 in this.
“He knows how to get to his spots, knows how to get to his shot whenever he wants to,” Garland added. ‘You’re just seeing a glimpse of it. I mean he’s still a 21-year-old kid that hasn’t been in the weight room a lot, just getting used to the physicality of the game. We’re seeing a glimpse of it right now.”
- In case you missed it, the Cavs are hopeful that center Jarrett Allen (eye) can return for at last one of the two road games against the Nets this week. We have that full post here.
No chance. This is the first year of playoffs for Garland, Mobley, Okoro, and a few others. #Cavs are progressing and as promising as they hoped. https://t.co/aE2bsMk40x
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) March 20, 2023
Guard Patrick Beverley suggested he’s quite happy with the way things are going with the Bulls after starting the season with the Lakers, then being waived by the Magic following a trade.
“Just having fun, getting lost in basketball. Just like you guys do when you’re up at night, writing a story. You got your little headphones on. You catch the vibe and get lost in your craft,” Beverley said, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m fortunate to play with (DeMar DeRozan) and (Zach LaVine). No one person can guard them so you gotta take away something and I guess it’s PatBev. I like it that way.”
The Bulls (33-37) are 7-4 since Beverley arrived and entered Monday as the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference.
“Should be 9-2,” Beverley said. “I think the team that really beat us is Phoenix—and Toronto. We got to be better.”
Coach Billy Donovan is equally pleased with Beverley.
“I just love his presence, his competitiveness,” Donovan said, via Johnson. “The way he comes in on a back-to-back telling guys, ‘We got to be ready to play.’ I love his message and disposition and the way he is every day. He has a great motor, great enthusiasm, loves the game and loves competing. I love being around him.”
- Speculation persists that point guard Lonzo Ball could miss all of next season after a third knee surgery. He already missed all of this. We have the latest right here.
Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo broke the franchise record for games played in Sunday’s win over the Raptors, having now appeared in 712 games with Milwaukee. The old record was held by former guard Junior Bridgeman.
“It’s a great feeling,” Antetokgivenpo said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I wasn’t aware of it coming to the game. Great feeling. To feel like you’ve given everything to the team and you’ve played the most games for the franchise. It’s been a long journey.
“But, there’s more. There’s more to be accomplished here, I believe. There’s more way to go. How (Jae Crowder) says it, chop wood, carry water — keep chopping wood and carrying water and keep on moving forward and hopefully more compliments and accomplishments like that can come throughout the journey.”
- The combination of forwards Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles are hitting their stride ahead of the playoffs, and that can only be considered a good thing, Owczarski wrote.
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Well, I’m going to say it. Yes, Cav’s are doing better than last year, but just a handful of games is not a GREAT improvement, yet, it IS improvement. Hopefully they will get through the first round of playoffs… but if they really want to make noise getting to the “big enchilada”, FIND A WAY TO GET LAURI MARKKANNEN BACK. Yes I’m still Not happy about losing him when you could see from his off-season exploits with his Finland team was OFF THE CHARTS fantastic & just when you needed to keep the 3 position going strong the three tower offense was rolling. Even Giannis Antetokounmpo said “We’re really going have to take the Cav’s serious now” after getting the three tower bunch eat their lunch, just last year. Well this year even with the addition of Mitchell, the Bucks have not had to worry about them. Don’t get me wrong, I AM SO GLAD to have gotten Mitchell, & he HAS made a great impact, but Cav’s gave away a MAJOR blunder by giving away Markkannen. Even the new draftee is doing well in Utah. The Cav’s 3 position was pillaged & plundered by Utah. If you can’t find a way to get him back, please explore anybody who can come remotely close to his stature. Small ball can work with some teams, but in the end, you’ll NEED a bigger big to contend to get through the playoffs. There, I’ve said it. Giannis is NOT worried about the current Cav’s.