Jarrett Allen has been dominant
The seven-footer has been a two-way monster over those eleven games. He is averaging 19.4 points, 13.2 rebounds and four assists over that time. For one gloriously dominant week, he put up 73 points, 52 rebounds and 19 assists across three games, something only Hall of Famers have done before.
Allen has thrived with the improved spacing around him. Over those 11 games, the Cavs' most-used lineup features Dean Wade at the 4 and Max Strus at the 3; that group is shooting 40.2 percent from deep, and Allen is using the space inside to go to work. When Allen shares the court with Max Strus in that stretch (304 minutes) the Cavs are +43; when he shared it with Dean Wade, the Cavaliers are +45 in 223 minutes.
Playing a stretch-4 is working for the Cavaliers, and it is working for Jarrett Allen. The problem? Evan Mobley will be back sometime this season, and that spacing will disappear completely. For all that Mobley is one of the best defensive players in the league (he may be the very best) neither he nor Allen space the court at all. They have combined to go 2-for-11 from deep this year, and neither takes 2-point jumpers either.
The two players are an absolutely dominant defensive duo. When Allen and Mobley share the court the Cavs are among the best defensive teams in the league. On offense, however, the complete lack of spacing not only constricts one another's ability to score, it handicaps the entire offense. The Cavs are forced to maximize shooting at all costs at the other three positions, and it still doesn't help them generate consistent offense.
To this point, the hope has been that Evan Mobley would develop as a jump-shooter and eventually add that 3-point shot. Instead he has regressed, moving his offensive game even closer to the basket this season. That's not a knock on him; he has improved as a passer and rebounder, and if the shot hasn't come around yet in practice it makes sense not to force it in games. But it does mean that the dream of the two finding a way to excel together on offense is quickly turning to mist.
What, then, is the solution?