Evan Mobley’s warning to Darius Garland ahead of guard’s Cavs return

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley reminded guard Darius Garland of the physical toll of playing NBA basketball ahead of the latter’s planned return to the court.

Mobley just recently made his return to the court for the Cavaliers in the team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 29. The 22-year-old scored 10 points and recorded nine rebounds in 21 minutes of action after not taking the floor for Cleveland in over a month due to a knee injury.

The Cavaliers managed to pick a 10-point win over the Clippers in Mobley’s return, which marked the team’s second win in a row and ninth over its past 10 games. Cleveland is just one game behind the New York Knicks — who have played as well as any team in the NBA over the past few weeks — for the No. 3 seed in the conference. The Knicks are riding an eight-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the NBA.

Mobley is averaging 15.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game across 22 appearances with the Cavaliers franchise so far in the 2023-24 regular season, his third season in the pros since being drafted with the No. 3 overall pick back in the 2021 NBA Draft. Mobley has already proven himself to be one of the better defensive players in the league, considering he is fresh off an All-Defensive nod a season ago.

Garland is planning on making his return to the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Detroit Pistons — who own the NBA’s worst record but have won two of their last three games — at home on Wednesday night. The one-time All-Star has been sidelined ever since he suffered a jaw injury versus the Boston Celtics back on Dec. 14 of last year. Garland suffered the injury after colliding with Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis.

After their game against the Pistons, the Cavaliers have a road matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies slated for Thursday night.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.