Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell showed some major support for his teammate Evan Mobley to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Mitchell, who played alongside three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert with the Utah Jazz, believes that Mobley should win the award this season.
#Cavs Donovan Mitchell on Evan Mobley’s DPOY case: “He should be the Defensive Player of the Year. I’ve played with a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, so I know what it looks like and I’m seeing it with him, for sure.”
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) March 31, 2023
The Cavs have the best defensive rating in the NBA this season, partially because of the terrific rim protection that Mobley provides for the team. The big man is also great at switching onto smaller players when needed.
This season, Mobley leads the NBA in defensive win shares (4.6), and he has a defensive box plus/minus of 1.6. The Cavs youngster is averaging 1.5 blocks and 0.8 steals per game this season.
While Jackson (3.1 blocks per game) and Lopez (2.5 blocks per game) have put up stronger numbers in that category, Mobley’s defensive value is shown in his win shares added to the team. The voters for the award hopefully will take all of those numbers into consideration before choosing the winner.
The Cavs have played terrific defense all season, despite having undersized guards like Mitchell and Darius Garland on the roster. Part of that is because of the whole’s team’s play on that end of the floor, but Mobley and Jarrett Allen have done a great job erasing mistakes at the rim as well.
Mobley is in just his second year in the NBA after being drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Cavs have high hopes for his future, and he’s likely going to take home a Defensive Player of the Year Award at some point in his NBA career.
It’s great to see Mitchell supporting his teammate in the quest for the award, and he does have some expertise after spending several seasons alongside Gobert in Utah.
Even if Mobley doesn’t get the recognition as the league’s best defender, he should find himself on one of the All-Defensive teams for his play this season.