What Evan Mobley's promising return with Cavaliers means for the future

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Mobley recently returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers after missing six weeks because of arthroscopic knee surgery, which was a big blow for Cleveland at the time. For an extended period, the Cavaliers were also without Darius Garland as well due to a jaw fracture.

Fortunately, Cleveland was able to withstand those two injuries to Mobley and Garland, and since then Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers have kept the good times rolling, and now it's made the club even tougher to beat upon the return of those two guys.

Cleveland did drop a game on Monday night to the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers due to subpar defense and lackadaisical effort, but the Cavs had won nine straight games before the loss. One of the recent storylines has been Mobley giving the Cavaliers a boost with his refreshing two-way play leading into post-All-Star break play ahead.

Evan Mobley's sudden growth with the Cleveland Cavaliers sets the stage for a great final stretch

Mobley has settled back in nicely thus far since he's returned and has once again been a defensive stalwart. Even with the Cavaliers turning things up another notch before his return defensively, since he's been back in the fold he has given Cleveland such a multifaceted player on that end without losing a step.

Mobley's presence has enabled Cleveland's perimeter players to be more aggressive, and his length has given the Cavaliers a big-time defensive difference-maker to have to roam in the paint, in passing lanes and in rotations to smother and deter interior attempts. Whether or not he's been rejecting shots, Mobley's regularly been in a great position to assist when needed, and his attention to detail with his contests is always on point.

In Mobley's eight games back, he's had 1 block and 0.9 steals per contest to go with an average of 9.6 rebounds. His all-around impact with his instincts, fluidity to keep players in front and shot-altering all have been a welcomed boost, and as he gets more and more comfortable, the Cavaliers will be all the more stingy on defense.

Mobley made All-Defense First Team last season in just his second year, and on that end, he's continually been a top-flight upon his return. This season, despite the volume not being as high, he's placed in the 99th percentile in isolation defense.

Offensively, Mobley is improving fast. In his games back, he's had 15.5 points per contest on an efficient 61.4 percent shooting. He's eased into things with a minute restriction, an understandable measure coming off his knee surgery, but there have been promising signs from Mobley.

He's still been an effective cutter in playing off of Cleveland's playmakers, has gotten some lobs and has had some impressive plays from self-creation inside from quick bursts off of drives, posts and elbows.

In addition to the work inside the arc, something that's been encouraging from Mobley recently has been how he's been willing to step in and shoot from the perimeter with confidence.

Nobody is suggesting he's going to become Kristaps Porzingis any time soon, but Mobley has had two games where he's connected on multiple threes, a noteworthy improvement. It's evident he was consistently working on his shot form over the time he was rehabbing his way back before this return to game action, and his stroke has appeared cleaner when he's taken those shots.

Along with the scoring and defensive impact Mobley has provided, it should never be discounted how his passing allows the Cavs to have another high-IQ ball-mover, as well. Mobley's averaged 2.9 assists in his return from injury, his season average, and in five of those eight contests, he's had three or more dimes. There are still going to be some giveaways at times, but his vision and ability to create quality looks for others has been another positive aspect of his game that's jumped out lately.

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While there's still going to be some growing pains with the amount of time he missed, fans should be encouraged by what Mobley has demonstrated since he's been back in there.