3 Cavaliers players who aren't living up to expectations thus far

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers and Caleb Martin, Miami Heat
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers and Caleb Martin, Miami Heat / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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No. 1: Evan Mobley

Damian Jones failed to meet internal expectations and was dropped from the rotation. Darius Garland is failing to meet expectations but is crucial to the success of the Cavaliers and has the space to improve.

Evan Mobley is a different case entirely. He is failing to meet the expectations of those outside the organization: fans hoping for the moon, or media wanting him to take a superstar turn on offense. If Evan Mobley truly is the next coming of Kevin Garnett or Chris Bosh then an outside jumpshot should be in his bag, and it should be deployed right now.

If that's the standard, and for many it is, then Mobley has failed to meet expectations. Mobley has taken just 10 3-pointers in 21 games, hitting only two of them. Even worst, just 17.3 percent of his shots come from outside 10 feet. He isn't spacing the court in any appreciable way, and when he and Jarrett Allen share the court the Cavs have two non-shooters clogging the paint.

It's a trend downward as well. As a rookie, Mobley's average shot distance was 8.4 feet from the basket. Last season that fell to 7.2 feet, and this season it's all the way down to 5.4 feet from the basket. That lack of outside shooting could absolutely be a problem for the Cavs moving forward as they test the viability of their two-big lineup.

Concluding that Mobley is failing to develop because he hasn't added an outside shot yet, however, is absolutely missing the forest for the trees. Mobley has taken yet another step forward as a rim protector and is one of the early favorites for Defensive Player of the Year. He has improved significantly as a rebounder, shoring up an area of weakness for the Cavs despite their size. His assist percentage and true-shooting are also continuing to improve as well.

Mobley continues to grow as a player, and his impact on the Cavaliers is significant. Would it be nice if he could develop a 3-point shot? Absolutely, but growth is neither linear nor something that can be ordered off a menu. Mobley is a better player than he was last season, even if he hasn't added that one skill everyone is pining for him to add.

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