Stud No. 3: Isaiah Mobley
The Cleveland Cavaliers won 51 games last season in large part because they started a Mobley. The Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League team went undefeated in large part because they, too started a Mobley. And he was absolutely dominant in leading the Cavs to a title.
Isaiah Mobley looked like a player who was almost “too good” for Summer League, with the combination of strength, skill and savvy that absolutely overwhelmed the Houston Rockets in the championship game. He finished the night with 28 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Oh, and the MVP trophy.
Mobley was the centerpiece of the offense, working a lethal two-man game with Sam Merrill. He hit multiple jump shots but also feasted inside, frequently busting out his “too small” celebration when the Rockets were unable to match up with him inside. One game after hitting the game-winning basket, Mobley set the tone early and often.
He was a monster on defense as well, the rim-protecting anchor who helped hold the Rockets to 78 points one game after they scored 115. Houston shot just 38.2 percent from the floor and didn’t shoot a single free throw until the second half of the game. Mobley led a dominant two-way showing from the Cavaliers to secure the title.
The question for Mobley is now how long until he cracks the Cavs’ full-time rotation as the third big; it seems only a matter of time. The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the competition in Las Vegas and that is a very, very good sign for this team’s depth moving forward.