Evan Mobley Calls Out on Spencer Dinwiddie After Cavs Defeat Nets in Thriller

Evan Mobley Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Few players in the entire NBA have as bright a future as Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley. A second-year out of USC, Mobley very nearly took home Rookie of the Year honors until a late-season injury cost him the hardware.

And while this season hasn’t featured as much of a sophomore leap as some would’ve liked, Mobley continues impressing with late-game adjustments.

Those adjustments were on full display Thursday against the Nets. Mobley thrived, scoring 26 points and hauling in 16 boards in the Cavs’ 116-114 nail-biting win. After the game, Mobley was asked about his defense of Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, to which the big man responded by explaining how he was able to study Dinwiddie’s game to better defend against it.

“I feel like I got a good amount of reps defending him (Dinwiddie) throughout the game and I was just learning his tendencies and stuff throughout the game and I feel like he was just driving a lot, driving right. So the last few possessions I was just focused on staying in front of him and not letting him get to the right hand and I feel like I did a good job on that,” Mobley said after the game, per the Cavaliers’ official Youtube channel.

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The fact that Mobley, a 6’11 big, is able to keep up with Dinwiddie, a 6’5 guard, is astounding. But it also speaks to Mobley’s versatility as a defender.

While still not an offensive dynamo (especially from deep), Mobley leads the league in defensive win shares and is sixth in defensive rating.

And chances are he could be called on to guard Dinwiddie again if the Cavs get their way.

Cavaliers Hoping to See Nets in Playoffs

With the win, the Cavaliers scooted to 2-1 against Brooklyn for the season. But the Cavs also hope it’s not the last time they see the Nets before the fall.

In a report from Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, the Cavaliers are hoping for a playoff matchup against Brooklyn.

“No one inside the organization would say this publicly — and they shouldn’t. But multiple people I’ve spoken to recently are privately hoping for a Brooklyn matchup,” Fedor reported.

According to Fedor, the Cavs view the Nets as far weaker after their trade deadline deals.

“Brooklyn was 32-20 at the time it dealt Kyrie Irving — a move that preceded Kevin Durant’s departure. While the Nets haven’t completely imploded since those two megadeals, their organizational ceiling has lowered considerably, and they no longer pose the same challenge in a seven-game series. The last time they looked — and consistently played — like a playoff-caliber team was when Irving and Durant were both there. The Nets are 7-11 over the last month-plus without those two superstars. They also have the most inexperienced coach of the potential first-round foes,” Fedor completed.

Nic Claxton Responds to Cavs-Nets Rumor

Another reason for potential hope in the Cavs’ front office is that the Nets lack size on the interior to match with guys like Mobley and Jarrett Allen. While Mikal Bridges can pester Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, it will be up to Nets players like Yuta Watanabe and Nic Claxton to stop Cleveland’s bigs.

And that’s perfectly fine, according to Claxton.

“I heard something like that, too. I don’t know if they think it’s sweet, but we’ll match up with anybody,” Claxton said. “We just try to take it game by game, win as many games as we can, and get as high a seed as possible. If that’s our matchup, then we’ll take care of it.”

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