From a defensive perspective, with his versatility, feel as a disruptor, and his length, the comparisons to Garnett are valid to this point. Garnett was one of the league’s best defensive bigs for much of his career, was 12-time All-Defense in his career, and was the 2007-08 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
He’ll have to build on his stellar start on that end of the floor from here, but Mobley looks to be well on his way defensively. He’s incredible there, and is seemingly just getting started.
As was alluded to previously, though, Mobley has to show more as a shooter, even with him showing some there still last season.
Mobley has demonstrated his share of flashes as a shooter in the mid-range area through his two seasons with Cleveland, and he should be able to get better with his self creation in those areas as he gets more comfortable.
He can hit some fadeaways in the mid-post over defenders, and looks going over contests when shooting over guys in the deep paint, which has given Cleveland a jolt at times. Also, he shown he can knock down some catch-and-shoot looks along the baseline here and there, and if he gets mismatches, can simply shoot over smaller defenders at points, or use ball fakes to generate free throw opportunities.
If Mobley can be more consistent with his self creation, and ideally tighten up his handle a bit, at least against forwards and bigs, that could make him all the more capable on offense.
It doesn’t necessarily tell the full story, when one factors in Mobley’s playmaking growth as well, but he shot 36.2 percent on shots from 10-16 feet on a frequency of 12.2 percent last season. Those splits from that range were a 44.5 percent hit rate on a frequency of 14.3 percent as a rookie.
By comparison, Garnett’s career splits from that range were a 45.0 percent shooting clip on a frequency of 22.5 percent in that shot zone. He also connected on 45.4 percent of his shots from 16 feet to the three-point line, on a 31.9 percent frequency. KG’s mid-range game was very fruitful for him.
It was a different league, and ideally, Mobley can establish some catch-and-shoot range from three-point land. Even still, if Mobley’s mid-range J can be more shored up, he can take some of that mid-range game from KG as a fellow 6-foot-11, high IQ player who was a hell of a passing big as well.