With Evan Mobley sidelined, the Cavaliers need a confident Dean Wade

Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The Cleveland Cavaliers got some awful news last week when it was announced both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley would be sidelined for an extended period because of their injuries. Both mean so much to this Cleveland team, and that was crushing, to say the least.

For a Cavaliers team that's been inconsistent this season, those injury updates from last week were even more troublesome. Garland has had some struggles at points this season, but he had been getting rolling of late, and he's one of the primary engines of Cleveland's offense.

In Mobley's case, he's one of the league's top overall defenders, and for much of the season to this point, he's been one of the Cavaliers' steady contributors. Mobley has averaged 16.0 points, a Cavs' team-leading 10.5 rebounds per game, and has tacked on 2.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per outing, also.

That said, given the Mobley news, obviously, other guys have had to and are going to have to step up.

One would have to assume Dean Wade and Georges Niang will be the primary factors there in the interim. Of the two, though, Wade has been a player that has had his share of starts this season, and what's crucial for him from here pertains to Wade being ultra-confident.

It's paramount that Wade is continually a confident player for the Cavaliers, and so far, he has been and it's paid off.

Wade is going to generally be in games for his defensive contributions against opposing wings and forwards, and despite some fouling problems at times, he is usually going to have a positive impact on that end of the floor.

With Mobley out, Cleveland has rightfully been starting Wade at the 4 in recent games as well, and that should keep playing out, with Wade being one of Cleveland's best defensive options. Plus, Wade has been very active on the glass, and has kept numerous plays alive with his anticipation and quickness to the ball on the offensive glass.

Circling back, however, it's crucial for the Cavaliers for Wade to be letting deep balls fly, and for him to be looking for his shot when the catch-and-shoot opportunities come calling. This isn't to suggest that he's going to be putting up 8-plus threes in his chances with Mobley out, but when Wade is a confident shooter, the Cavs, as a whole, can greatly benefit.

On the campaign, Wade has connected on 36.6 percent of his three-point attempts, which have 3.6 per game. Regardless of the injury element factoring into him starting in 13 of his 20 appearances this season, as the year has progressed, Wade's seemed to be sharper, and more decisive, as a shooter, and that has to carry forward when he's in there.

There were a couple of games where he struggled versus the Orlando Magic at Orlando and at the Boston Celtics, and there are going to be some off games for an off-ball role piece in Wade. But, to his credit, following a six-game absence due to an ankle sprain, Wade has hit 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts in his last seven games, six of which have been starts. In those games, he's additionally averaged 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds.

How Wade has been playing this season, to a large extent, has been encouraging, considering how his shot fell off by the wayside last season after he came back from a shoulder injury. That injury still affected him last year after his return, and he was not close to the same shooter.

Conversely, Wade emphasized how good he felt coming into this season, and when Wade has had his looks, his shot has looked so much more fluid, and perhaps more than anything, sans Mobley, Cleveland needs Wade to just let it fly. And as recent games have shown, the chances for shooters like Wade and Max Strus will be there.

Hopefully, being ultra-confident is continually stressed to Wade, who is one of the Cavaliers' key glue guys.