Did anyone see this coming from the Cleveland Cavaliers?
The Cavaliers, who are recovering a lot, have accelerated their development during the first weeks of the season and it does not seem to be a fluke.
Led by youngsters Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, along with veteran point guard Ricky Rubio, the Cavaliers have propelled themselves into the top four in the Eastern Conference at 9-5 on the season after winning six of their last seven games, including iconic wins over the New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics.
Against the Celtics, they rallied from a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter to steal a 91-89 win and, according to Garland, they’re here to let the rest of the league know they’re on their way.
“We are here,” Garland said after the victory. “We’re not left behind anymore, we just came back from 15 down, that’s the dog we’ve always been talking about, that’s the fight, that’s the tenacity we’re always talking about.”
Last season, they were 9-11 after 20 games before finishing 22-50, but something feels different this year, with the arrogance of youth and seasoned skill combining to make them one of the most exciting teams in the world. the league, more than capable. Of being with any team, what is more impressive is that they are currently doing it without their number one scoring player, Collin Sexton, who is out for four weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee.
“LET THEM KNOW!”
– NBA (@NBA) November 14, 2021
“We are dogs,” said Darius Garland. “You are no longer about to come to Cleveland and run over us. We’re going to show some fighting, some bravery, some competitiveness, and that’s what we’re trying to do every night. “
At the center of his new defensive identity has been 20-year-old Evan Mobley, who is building a strong Rookie of the Year case, emerging as one of the best defenders, not just in his rookie class, but in the league.
According to Basketball Reference, Cavaliers starting outfield at Mobley (10th) and Jarrett Allen (6th) currently rank in the top 10 in defensive win action, with the dynamic 7-foot duo leaving opponents with little choice when attacking the painting.
While Allen remains one of the best shot blockers in the league, he is averaging 1.0 blocks per game, his career low, in large part due to the fact that Mobley covers so much ground that he is dividing plays before they arrive. so far.
His unique ability to bounce back, anticipate offensive moves and go to the perimeter and defend guards, with his combination of length and athleticism is simply terrifying for a player not old enough to buy a beer.
With only 14 games in his NBA career, he is already the Fastest player in Cavs franchise history to reach 200 points and 100 rebounds and currently leads all rookies in blocks (1.5) and is second in points (15.6) and rebounds (7.9).
With a rookie coming in and producing at such a high level right away, the Cavs appear to be ahead of schedule, but according to Garland, they are on time.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.