How the Cavs’ new additions can help Mobley and Allen’s confidence

Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

It’s almost time for the start of the NBA’s regular season. The Cleveland Cavaliers will debut their newly constructed roster in their first preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday. Most of the Cavs’ offseason additions this summer were focused on finding an answer at the starting small forward position, and also bringing more depth to the team as a whole. However, another aspect of the game that this team should put more focus on is getting their young leaders to vocalize more.

The Cavs should focus on developing the confidence of the frontcourt and help them find their voice.

During an interview at the Cavs’ Media Day, Georges Niang sat down with Justin Rowan and Carter Rodriguez of “The Chase Down Podcast.”

They started diving into Niang’s trash talking on the court. Carter told Niang “The Cavs haven’t had a lot of talkers, we always like to joke that they’re a group of nice young men.” To which Georges responded – “Oh, we’re gonna change that. Max is a gritty guy, Ty is a gritty guy – so I’m not the only one that’s gonna be giving it out, and hopefully we can drag it out of JA and Evan as well.”

It seems like Niang is determined to get his new teammates talking more on the court. Considering one of the takeaways for the Cavs after their loss to the New York Knicks in the playoffs was they weren’t tough enough – finding their voice and establishing their presence as leaders on the court is just what this team’s young core needs.

Caris LeVert provided his own commentary on Niang. LeVert was quoted saying the following.

The projected starting lineup for Cleveland will feature Max Strus as the starting forward. With Strus having the most playoff experience of any other player on the roster, he definitely has had to make himself heard on the court. The level of exposure Strus has to the postseason can provide Mobley and Allen with some valuable intangibles.

Another guy that was not mentioned by Niang that can also be instrumental in helping these emerging leaders on the Cavs find their voice on the court is Tristan Thompson. Double T’s return to Cleveland for a one-year deal caught fans by surprise.

Although he is not the same Thompson that helped the Cavs win the championship in 2016, he can still bring some highly valuable knowledge and experience to this roster. Thompson will be used sparingly throughout the season in quick spurts on the court as a backup big man. One of his more valuable assets he brings to the team this time around is his vocality on the court and in the locker room.

Tristan Thompson is just what Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen need. Mobley and Allen can be a dominant duo on the court, but one thing they’ve lacked as of recently is that intensity that could have helped push them further along in the playoffs this past season. Tristan Thompson’s championship level experience should hopefully lend itself to the ongoing development of the young frontcourt in Cleveland.

Georges Niang specifically mentioned that he hopes him and some of the other gritty players can pull that same intensity out of Allen and Mobley. While Mobley and Allen are already a strong duo in the frontcourt, they do tend to be a little quiet. Jarrett has always had a relatively calm demeanor, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes that calmness can lend itself to better success on the court than someone who is constantly throwing their weight around and getting in screaming matches with opponents. However, Jarrett could benefit from tenacity at times. After his “the lights were brighter than expected” comment – Allen has had some unwanted attention on him from fans since the teams’ first-round exit in the playoffs.

While these guys can provide the big men with some help with their confidence on the court by helping them to vocalize more, they can also instill confidence in them by how they play the game. Max Strus is a versatile, knockdown shooter that can help space the floor.

Putting him on the court with Mobley and Allen can help bring out their defensive prowess. Niang can also pair nicely with either of the two big men as well. As a stretch four Niang can help space the floor for Mobley or Allen.

With Evan going into his third year, people are predicting another leap for the Cavs’ young defensive savant. Looking ahead toward the future, Evan Mobley could easily be one of, if not the best player on the Cavs if he continues to improve the way he has been. Not only that, but he will continue to be an essential foundational piece to the team’s success as a whole.

Having said that, the more successful he becomes, and the more assets he adds to his arsenal, the more other players will look to Mobley for leadership on the court. This season with Niang, Strus, Jerome, and Thompson could end up being one of the most important seasons of basketball for Evan Mobley’s career development.

Cleveland’s aspirations get larger with each season. After proving to the league they are a playoff contender last year, the bare minimum for this team is to return to the first round. If they want to set themselves up for success and carve a path to a potential Eastern Conference Finals appearance, one thing they will need to continue building on is establishing a sense of grit and tenacity in their frontcourt duo of Mobley and Allen. If that pair can reach a new level of toughness on the court, both mental and physical, it could provide the Cavs with an imposing pair to push on opposing teams.

This is going to be a challenging year for the Cavs. Between Damian Lillard joining forces with Giannis in Milwaukee to the Celtics adding Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis to their roster, the East has gotten a lot tougher. Cleveland cannot afford to sit by and get pushed around again during the postseason. The team needs to start building that confidence level up now, and these new additions can help Mobley and Allen with that.

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Overall, this is in hoping Allen’s current bone bruise injury in his ankle does not hamper him too much from here, and whether he potentially misses time to begin the regular season, he is fully ready to go when he’s back involved.