Evan Mobley on being standout isolation defender: ‘I really try to step up and be that guy to get stops’

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With just under 10 percent of the 2022-23 NBA regular season in the books for the Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers, it is becoming abundantly clear that the team is special and elite.

In seven games so far this season, that Cavs have walked away with six victories. Two of those victories have come against the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

While newcomer Donovan Mitchell has been heralded as the biggest reason for that early success, second-year player Mobley has also played an incredible role. Mobley is seen as a player who will one day be an elite superstar, and he has shown signs of that in every game so far.

Something that makes Mobley so unique is that he is not only a dangerous player on offense, but also a dominant defender. He recently spoke with Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid about his ability to stand his ground as an isolation defender.

“The team definitely puts a lot of emphasis on that,” said Mobley. “Like, me being a defender and being one of the top defenders on our team. So, any time that challenge comes up, I really try to step up and be that guy to get stops.”

Showing Out on Defense

He’s allowing just 0.56 points per possession when operating as an isolation defender. For a second-year player to have that much ability on the defensive side of the ball is incredibly unique.

So far this season, Mobley is averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 block and 1.0 steal per game. He’s been everywhere on the floor, and he and Jarrett Allen are making a serious case to be considered as the best frontcourt duo in the NBA.

So far in the young season, everything has gone according to plan for the Cavs. They’re No. 2 in the Eastern Conference and playing like one of the best teams in the league.

They’ve already defeated one team that competed for a championship last season in the Celtics, and they’ll get a chance to play the defending champion Golden State Warriors in just over a week.

Between now and that Nov. 11 matchup, the Cavs will begin a five-game road trip that includes games against the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings.

It will be great to see how Mobley continues to shine and improve with each passing game. It is easy to forget that he is still just 21 years of age and has played just 76 games at the professional level.

He’s getting better and better, and it is not yet clear just how dominant of a player he could ultimately become. What is clear, however, is that he just starting to scratch the surface of his immense potential.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.