Cleveland Cavaliers Player of the Week for Jan. 10-16

This latest road trip for the Cleveland Cavaliers turned out to be a fruitful one, as the Wine and Gold finished that out at 5-1, and they are currently riding a four-game win streak.

It’s been nice to see how the Cavaliers have responded after probably their most disappointing performance of the season in a 96-82 loss at the Golden State Warriors, who did not have Draymond Green. Since that second game of the Western road trip, the Cavs again have been able to get victories in their last four contests, with a close win at the Sacramento Kings starting that.

In the past three, Cleveland dispatched a Utah Jazz club that was without Rudy Gobert and Rudy Gay (health and safety protocols), got the job done at the San Antonio Spurs on Friday and led by an incredible effort from Darius Garland, the Cavaliers came back at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. In that game, Garland was again the catalyst, and despite a rough night from three, had 27 points and a career-high 18 assists.

So looking back at this past week’s slate, which Cav/Cavs player(s) were the standout perfomers for the team?

For this past week of games, I have Garland and Evan Mobley as the Cavs Co-Players of the Week.

From my perspective, I’m going with Garland, who came back well and seemingly played through back soreness as one of the Players of the Week, and the other, with me not being able to decide, being Evan Mobley.

Garland again was the primary reason that Cleveland came back in the second half at Oklahoma City, with clutch buckets and his playmaking has really been on display since he came back from being in health and safety protocols. Garland didn’t have a great outing at Sacramento, but had some key plays down the stretch, and even on a 5-of-13 shooting night dealing with the back soreness, did still have 11 assists.

The Jazz game wasn’t great for him as a scorer, either, even with them shorthanded, as Garland was only 3-of-11; on the plus side, he still had his first career triple-double, with 15 assists and 10 rebounds.

As we expressed, Garland did come up big in the last two games as well at San Antonio and Oklahoma City, and on the week, ended up still having 20.5 points and 12.8 assists per contest, which was much needed with Rajon Rondo dealing with hamstring soreness.

It’s been a pleasure to see Garland come into his own as a playmaker, and even with the Cavs reportedly still seeking perimeter help via trade, his progress as a more well-rounded scorer even in times with him off from three has very encouraging.

So from there, as we touched on, while guys such as Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen have made a notable impact in recent games, along with Lamar Stevens, I thought Mobley was worthy as a Cavs Co-Player of the Week, too.

On the week, Mobley had a robust 16.8 points per game on 57.7 percent shooting, to go with averaging 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 blocks.

That included him having 20 points, five rebounds and two blocks on Saturday at OKC, and even with only four of those points in the first half, he was money following that, and had a few huge dunks in winning time, and defensive plays. His ability to feel games out, and adjust in them, while still staying so locked-in defensively has been so crucial for this Cavaliers team, and on both ends of the floor, he sees the game so well.

I acknowledge that there have been some turnovers where he might try to make an extra pass here and there, and might give it away occasionally with him still just 20 (he averaged 3.0 turnovers on the week), objectively.

But Mobley’s passing vision is still so impressive to me for a young big, and guys are starting to expect his feeds more, which has helped take advantage of cuts and man movement from shooters. That’s made a difference for players such as Lauri Markkanen and Lamar Stevens, and it’s allowed Mobley to open up more offensive opportunities for the Cavs as a result, particularly as a secondary playmaker to aid Garland.

Regardless of Gobert being out, Mobley having seven assists against the Jazz was very promising for what’s to come in the near future. And the playmaking, combined with his on-ball scoring growth should have fans and the team as bullish as possible about his outlook.

Hopefully Garland and Mobley keep up this strong play in the week ahead, and that Cleveland can keep racking up victories.