Cleveland Cavaliers: 2 goals for Isaiah Hartenstein in 2021-22

Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein reacts in-game. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein reacts in-game. (Photo by Lauren Bacho/Getty Images) /
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Isaiah Hartenstein, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big Isaiah Hartenstein blocks a shot. (Photo by Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Goal #2 for Hartenstein for next season for the Cavs: Continue to be a viable rim protector, but keep his fouling more under control

Alright so for the second goal for Hartenstein for next season, provided he’s back, it’s to show that he’s a true rim protector in a rotational sense, but to do so while trimming down on fouls.

Hartenstein again did have 1.2 blocks in nearly 18 minutes per appearance with Cleveland in that 16-game sample, and he had 2.4 blocks per-36 minutes. For his career, albeit with him not as much involved in Houston and Denver, he’s had 2.2 blocks per-36 minutes.

Point being, Hartenstein, who is again a true 7-footer, appears to have good shot blocking/rim protection instincts when he’s been in there.

But for him looking onward, and I’d hope with the Cavaliers in this case, even as mostly a reserve 5, the fouling is some of a concern. He had 5.6 fouls per-36 with the Cavs post-deadline, and for his career, that’s been a clip of 6.9 per-36 overall. Quite simply, even in a rotational sense, he does need to show that he can clean things up in that way.

I want the 23-year-old to still demonstrate he’s an active rotator in that way, and it’s apparent that he can have the ability to deter interior looks/in some spurts, driving threats, similarly to Allen.

Hartenstein just, at least from my perspective, needs to show growth in regards to playing more vertical consistently, and proving that he can be an impact defender on the interior without taking unnecessary fouls. Those can at times make it hard for him to be in for stretches if he’s in particularly rough shape in that realm.

Again, he’ll likely be a reserve 5 in this sort of situation, provided he’s back anyway, so it’s not really a huge deal. But it’s clear that that’s something that needs to be addressed moving forward for the young big.

Next. Cavs: 2 goals for Dean Wade in 2021-22. dark

Overall, though, as we’ve touched on here, I do hope that Hartenstein is back with the Wine and Gold from a depth standpoint.