Cavs: One stud and one dud from win over Pistons

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Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

In a matchup of a pair of top 3 picks and two teams in much different parts of their rebuild, this was a highly anticipated matchup between Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham. Getting Cunningham back from injury should help the Detroit Pistons, but even with him back the Pistons are still in a very early part of their rebuild. The Cleveland Cavaliers (8-5) have been in a rebuild for a few years and obviously landing Mobley is the big one, but it looks like other pieces drafted the last few years are taking the next step and all those draft picks are paying off.

In the highly anticipated matchup Mobley outplayed Cunningham start to finish with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals, while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from 3-point range. It’s still very early and this is a great draft class with Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Cunningham, Jalen Green and to a lesser degree Jalen Suggs/Franz Wagner, but Mobley early on is the clear frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year.

I expected Mobley to make a big impact defensively, but i didn’t think his offense would be this good early on. The aggressiveness and the alpha dog quality he’s shown offensively early on isn’t what I expected, but Mobley continues to completely change this franchise. He was tied with Darius Garland for a team-high plus-29 when he was on the floor.

The Cavs dominated mostly the entire game. They led the Pistons by 6 after the first quarter, by 11 at halftime and midway through the third the Cavaliers had completely run away with it. They also continue to be very impressive defensively. This obviously played a key role in it, but either way, Cleveland is now sixth in the league in defensive rating currently.

This shouldn’t be surprising with how good of a shot blocker Jarrett Allen is, though, with how elite Mobley is, and with Isaac Okoro inserted into the starting lineup the level of play defensively isn’t surprising at all.

It was also nice to see the continued production from the bench. Cedi Osman continues to play really well off, too. He only shot 1-of-6 from 3, but he shot 7-of-13 and added 17 points. And it’s nice to see Dylan Windler back and healthy. Since he’s come back, the Windler minutes have been very good. On Friday, he had 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while shooting 2-of-5 from 3.

With that said, here we’ll take a closer look at one stud and one dud from the Cavs’ win over the Pistons.

We’ll hit on Cleveland’s standout performer first.

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