J.B. Bickerstaff says Evan Mobley reminded him of Kevin Garnett in Cavs win over Hawks

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up their first win of the 2021-22 season on Saturday with a 101-95 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley turned in another impressive performance, as he scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds in the win.

Mobley also blocked four shots, and Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff compared the rookie to Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

“It’s a Flip Saunders zone that I watched a lot when I was in Minnesota,” Bickerstaff said. “Seeing Evan’s ability to move through that made me think of when K.G. was playing at the top of that zone. That position he plays in that zone is not an easy position. You’ve got to quarterback it from the front and also see and be aware of what’s behind you. The way he picks up things, you tell him something and he goes and does it, and that’s not common for young players.”

So far this season, Mobley is averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.

The rookie has been as good as the Cavs could have hoped for after they selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Cleveland and Mobley will take on the Denver Nuggets on Monday as they look to improve to 2-2 on the season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.