The Cleveland Cavaliers won’t have one of their most important pieces ahead of a crucial rematch tonight.
Star PF/C Evan Mobley will miss Monday night’s clash with the Orlando Magic as he continues to battle knee soreness.
With that in mind, Cavs insider Carter Rodriguez pointed out the fact that he’s going to be missed when the team needs to cover Franz Wagner, as the sledding gets way tougher without him.
This Orlando game tonight is going to be a bear. Mobley is so important to throw on a guy like Franz. Without him, the sledding gets much tougher.
— Carter Rodriguez (@Carter_Shade) December 11, 2023
Mobley has yet to take a leap forward as a scorer, but he’s one of the best interior defenders in the league.
Needless to say, Jarrett Allen is more than capable of anchoring the paint and protecting the restricted area, but he’s not as efficient in the perimeter, and that’s where Mobley usually stands out the most.
His ability to stay in front of quicker and smaller players makes him an elite defender at all three levels, and that’s something you need when you have two big forwards who can stretch the floor, like Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.
The Cavs already beat the Magic the last time they squared off, and they didn’t find a lot of trouble establishing their dominance defensively.
Banchero did go off for 42 points, but the Cavs held Franz Wagner to just 14 points and noticeably got him out of rhythm.
The Magic have been one of the best and most consistent teams in the league this season, and they could be a potential first-round matchup for the Cavs if things stay like this, so all these games could be crucial.