3 Cavaliers who need to step up for Cleveland in Game 5 against Boston Celtics

The time to make an impact is now as the Cleveland Cavaliers face elimination from the NBA Playoffs in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
3 of 3

Evan Mobley is Cleveland's deciding factor

Again, Evan Mobley's postseason growth has been one of the brightest spots for the Cavaliers thus far. In Game 4, though, Mobley started the night missing a few easy post attempts when he awkwardly set himself up for a contested shot. Although his seven-foot frame should allow him to shoot over Al Horford fairly easily, he seemed unsure of himself until he hit an open three-pointer in the first quarter. From then on, he was confident. The Cavaliers cannot afford questionable confidence from Mobley in Game 5 with the franchise's future in his hands.

In the Cavaliers' series with Boston, Mobley has averaged 18.5 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and just under one block per game. The Celtics shifted their scheme to pull Mobley away from the hoop after he posted two consecutive games with double-digit rebounds to open the series. Cleveland cannot afford for Mobley to miss out on securing a missed shot, and his lack of presence in the key has allowed the Celtics to get to the hoop without fear of an elite shot blocker roaming.

Most of the ways Mobley can give Cleveland an extra lift comes from gameplanning and rotations, getting him back into the mix in the interior. Unless Jarrett Allen miraculously returns, Mobley will be the Cavaliers' only tall option in the post on both ends of the court. The Celtics' current frontcourt rotation is far less capable than Mobley, but he has yet to take advantage of his upperhand consistently through four games. If Evan can take a step forward, the Cavaliers have a chance to extend the series and return to Cleveland for the sixth match.

Game 5 will tip off at 7:00 pm Eastern Time in TD Garden as the Boston Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers with a ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line for the home squad. It would be Boston's second consecutive season advancing beyond the second round, meanwhile, the Cavaliers have not appeared in the conference finals since 2018.

Fans nationally can view the game on TNT or YouTube TV.

Next. Grade the Trade: Cavaliers add former No. 1 pick in bold proposal. Grade the Trade: Cavaliers add former No. 1 pick in bold proposal. dark