Saturday night was a career night for Evan Mobley, scoring 38 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ big win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Less heralded was the return of Dean Wade, once the Cavs’ starter at small forward, who missed seven weeks recovering from multiple injuries.
Wade specifically is a massive boost to this team, a good defender and improved shooter who offers the Cavs their best “3-and-D” option on the roster. The undrafted forward out of Kansas State signed a contract extension just prior to the season and holds the unique title of being the Cavs’ only player who officially can’t be traded.
Dean Wade‘s return also heralds how close this team is to having its full complement of players available. Donovan Mitchell has a good chance of returning any game now, and at that point (barring any other injuries) the Cavaliers will have its full rotation available for the first time all season.
J.B. Bickerstaff’s challenge as a coach will shift from cobbling together lineups and shoring up holes to managing emotions for players whose minutes are squeezed. Having the full roster (sans Dylan Windler) available means a lot of flexibility and versatility for Bickerstaff to work with.
Injuries are inevitable in the NBA, and if the Cavs do get a game with everyone available it may not last for long. Even so, the Cavs have been one of the NBA’s most injured teams, and they are likely to be deadly now that the rotation is fully healthy.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a really good team this season, and now the task is to take the step from good to great. Quinn Minnich takes a look over on the website at 3 moves the Cavs could make to put together a title push.
It was the weekend of Mobley in the city of Cleveland, with Isaiah Mobley dropping 26 points for the Cleveland Charge on Sunday. The Charge have now won eight-straight games, led by Mobley and Sharife Cooper. Cooper, Sam Merrill and Jamoko Pickett are all having great seasons and are candidates to receive a ten-day contract from the Cavs or elsewhere.
The Brooklyn Nets were down by 17 points in San Francisco on Sunday night, playing without Kevin Durant, when they turned up the heat and came roaring back to beat the Golden State Warriors by four points and stay just ahead of the Cavs in the standings.
That comeback was overshadowed by one further north, however, as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were down big at halftime only to rally from 25 points down and beat the Portland Trail Blazers. LeBron had 37 points as he closes in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.
Coming up: The Cavs get an extra day of rest before heading to Madison Square Garden to play the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.