Example No. 1: 2014-2017 Golden State Warriors and Draymond Green
The Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors won their first championship in the 2014-2015 season, defeating an injured Cleveland Cavaliers team in six games (also known as The Delly Series). Though the Warriors’ dynasty continued past 2017 with their addition of all-time great Kevin Durant, the early years of the franchise’s success depended on an offense more similar to this current iteration of the Cavaliers.
In this scenario, Evan Mobley as a playmaker mimics a prime Draymond Green. Over those three seasons, Green defended the opposing team’s best player and set up a star-filled backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for a barrage of long range daggers. In the 2016-2017 NBA season, Green averaged 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists and earned Defensive Player of the Year.
Head Coach Steve Kerr placed Green with the ball at the top of the key with Curry and Thompson racing through off-ball screens and passing around the court to any open scorer. Mobley’s scoring ability already surpasses what Green produced that season, which could theoretically add another layer to the Cavs’ offense. If no openings appear for an open shooter, Mobley is capable of barreling into the paint or backing down a defender in the post.
While Curry and Thompson were the clear cut two best players on the team, Green was the best two-way player in that lineup. He served as the glue for a team that set the regular season record at 73 wins and only 9 losses.
Assuming that Evan Mobley can fulfill a similar role (without all the technical fouls), the Cavaliers could elevate their game plan into that of a true contender. This will require that Cleveland adds the right pieces and shooters, starting with re-signing Caris LeVert and finding a starting three.