What does Evan Mobley look like in the new Cavaliers offense?
Mobley's aforementioned near double-double upon his return signals that he has not lost his prowess since receiving arthroscopic knee surgery exactly six weeks earlier. Where the question lies for Mobley offensively is his shot creation and physicality.
As creative as Mobley has been at finding the missed defensive rotation to get an easy dunk or post shot off, he still cannot command a defender's attention on the perimeter and does not absorb contact well on drives, leading to unnecessary turnovers. In Mobley's absence, Dean Wade assumed the role of starting alongside Jarrett Allen. Cleveland's 4-out offense model gave Allen free range to obliterate rivals in the post, and Wade also contributed decently on the boards.
It does not take close examination to see that Mobley is a better offensive player overall than Wade. Wade does, however, offer floor spacing that seems integral to Cleveland's latest successes. All eyes will be on the fit of Mobley and Allen together again, as many will be impatiently awaiting reasons to proclaim there is no possible future where the two can coexist on the same roster.
The Cavaliers have already shown they can achieve a 50-win season with their current frontcourt, but the postseason downfall of the Cavs has caused reasonable doubt. Both Allen and Mobley have shown stark improvement rebounding with both players recording career-high rebounds per game, and each one has had some level of growth from the midrange, albeit Allen's has been much greater.
For what it is worth, Mobley embraced the questions surrounding his shooting after his return game. Inside the locker room after the win, Mobley fielded numerous questions and proudly spoke about rejoining the team. He praised his teammates' efforts over the stretch and opened up about his focus on shooting.
"Definitely been thinking about [shooting more threes]. Definitely on that as well coming into this. Didn't get the chance to shoot many today, but going to keep shooting them and just keep getting better with that."- Evan Mobley
Mobley is unlikely going to become an elite shooting big man before the season ends, but the Cavs have realized the value Mobley could bring if he can add that element to his game. Breaking up the star frontcourt may become inevitable either because of fit or finances, but the Cavaliers would be smart to do everything possible to develop Mobley's offensive game beyond where he is now.
Whether or not Mobley and Allen can win in the playoffs is a question the Cavs cannot answer immediately. This concern will have to wait until the tensions are at their highest, but there are reasons to believe they can work, especially given the spacing forwards on the bench who can stagger Mobley's and Allen's minutes.
As for Darius Garland, the question for him centralizes around the other end of the ball.