The second-year pro registered a career-best 38 points and contributed nine rebounds and three assists to lead Cleveland to a 114-102 win over its division rival. But despite a monster showing, Mobley had a pragmatic response after the contest.
“It was just one of those days,” Mobley humbly said. “I definitely always have that confidence in myself to go out and do these types of things. I’ve just got to go out and do them.”
Hopefully, the game will give a significant boost to the 21-year-old’s confidence. In spite of having otherworldly talent, Mobley has yet to consistently show aggressiveness on the court. This season, he is averaging 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, which aren’t much of an improvement from his numbers in the 2021-22 campaign.
Former Cavs center Kendrick Perkins even called out him out recently for not taking “that leap” in his sophomore year.
However, Mobley appears to have started to understand what it takes to repeat his performance on other nights.
“After games like this you definitely feel good about it and have high confidence,” the former No. 3 pick from the 2021 draft said. “I’m just gonna take this win and move on to the next one and play with the same amount of confidence. I’ve always believed that growing up I’ve been a top player. It’s just staying as consistent as possible and actually doing it.”
On Saturday, Mobley indeed showed that he is a top player. He took advantage of smaller defenders after switches and didn’t shrink when matched up against Defensive Player of the Year candidate Brook Lopez. He even scored over the 7-foot-1 center on several possessions.
Fans should be delighted to see the University of Southern California product start to pick his game up. They were treated to a glimpse of what his ceiling can be.
“Kinda like tonight,” he said stoically on what a “peak” Mobley would look like. “Being active in areas of the floor, keep building my game up and being dominant.”
Mobley further improving would also bode well for a Cavs organization that is looking to make a deep playoff run this season.
At 29-19, Cleveland is currently sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. But a statement victory against one of the other top squads in the East could give the team enough momentum as it embarks on a three-game road trip versus the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.