Mobley, who is listed as questionable for the game on Friday due to knee soreness, was not on the court for the team’s shootaround.
#Cavs Evan Mobley, listed as questionable for tonight’s game because of knee soreness, not on the court here in Miami for shootaround.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) December 8, 2023
That’s an ominous sign for Mobley’s status, although the Cavs could be trying to rest the young big man to see if he can give it a go at game time.
Mobley has not missed a game for the Cavs this season. The 22-year-old has been a key piece of the team’s rotation, averaging 16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field.
If Mobley can’t go, the Cavs could turn to Dean Wade, Georges Niang and Tristan Thompson to fill in for him in the frontcourt. Mobley has been a beast on the glass this season, averaging a career-high mark in rebounds per game, so the Cavs will need others to step up in that department if he can’t go.
Mobley didn’t appear to be too banged up in the team’s win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, as he played 37 minutes and finished the game with 16 points (on 8-of-12 shooting from the field), five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.
Cleveland is only 12-9 on the season, but the team has won seven of its last 10 games. The Cavs are hoping to keep that strong play going against a Miami team that made the NBA Finals last season.
On the Heat side, Miami has already ruled out big man Bam Adebayo with a hip injury for the game. That should make things easier on Jarrett Allen and company down low if Mobley is forced to sit.
This season, Allen is averaging 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He missed the start of the 2023-24 season with an injury, but he’s still played in 16 of Cleveland’s 21 games.
Allen should see a bigger role on both sides of the ball if Mobley doesn’t play.
The Cavs and Heat are scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. EST in Miami on Friday night.