Mixing it up with Evan Mobley seems to be the move for Cavaliers early

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /

In preseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to have Jarrett Allen in the fold, as was apparent on Tuesday night at the Atlanta Hawks, when Cleveland lost 108-107. Allen is currently dealing with a bone bruise in his ankle, and as of last weekend, is set to be re-evaluated before the start of the regular season, per a Cavs team statement.

In the mean time, this could lead to some of a role adjustment for Evan Mobley, who could take more reps at the 5 in preseason, and could maybe start or play some more there in early-regular season play, if Allen is not back by then. Mobley seems set to play some staggered non-Allen minutes at the 5 stretches throughout games anyways, just as he did last season.

For other preseason games, at least one or two it’d seem in that sense, the frontcourt pairings with Mobley could vary, though, and one would assume he’ll spend time at the 4 and 5. The same would realistically apply in games if Allen were to miss time at the beginning of the regular season; considering he’ll be coming off having a bone injury, one would imagine that’s a real possibility.

As it comes to the Mobley outlook here for Cleveland, mixing it up with him and other frontcourt options looks like the move, and for some experimental reasons, even.

Mixing it up with Mobley seems to be the move for the Cavaliers here.

Mobley started Tuesday’s game as the interior presence for Cleveland, with Max Strus serving then as a small-ball 4. Strus did play 27 percent of his minutes at the 4 spot last season with the Miami Heat, for context, so at times, Cleveland could utilize him in that way, but that’s not something one should anticipate a ton in regular season play.

In terms of featuring Mobley at the 5, it’d be sensible to have Georges Niang get run with him there in preseason, also, and feasibly in early-regular season play. Niang is a polished deep shooter, and went two-of-four from three on Tuesday, and with Cleveland trying to use Mobley more as a hub big this season, Niang could fit in quite well with him. The same could apply with Dean Wade.

Now, from there, while it’s likely not something one would expect a bunch during the season, Cleveland having Mobley a bit with Damian Jones or Tristan Thompson at the 5 in preseason would probably be sensible, for experimental reasons. That’d be if three shooters would be surrounding that potential set of players at the 4/5, with the length of Mobley and Jones/Thompson for defensive and rebounding purposes.

Although there’s obviously reasons for concern for that type of pairing with Mobley offensively, and it’s not something one should expect much of in-season, in this time with Allen out, the Cavs might want to test those pairings out a bit.

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Generally speaking, however, after what was seemingly an especially hard-working offseason ahead of a pivotal year for him, the Cavaliers may want to mix things up with Evan Mobley in exhibitions, and perhaps a bit into the regular season.