Report: Evan Mobley dealing with ‘badly sprained ankle’ for Cavs

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

According to former Cleveland Cavaliers star Brad Daugherty, big man Evan Mobley is playing through an ankle sprain at the moment.

Mobley was limited to just 50 games played with Cleveland during the 2023-24 regular season.

After a slow start to Game 1 of the Cavaliers’ second-round series against the Boston Celtics from an offensive standpoint, Mobley ramped up his aggressiveness and saw success on that end of the floor in the second half. Against one of the top defenses in the league, the youngster finished with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 8-of-12 from the field.

Mobley scored the second-most points of any player on the Cavaliers on Tuesday, behind only star guard Donovan Mitchell, who dropped a game-high 33 on 25 shots from the floor.

But the play of Mobley was one of very few bright spots for Cleveland in the team’s blowout Game 1 loss to the Celtics. Boston dominated both ends of the court at TD Garden.

Offensively, the Cavaliers mustered just 95 points as a team and were held to 41.1 percent shooting from the field and 26.2 percent from deep. Darius Garland also had another quiet scoring night in these playoffs, as he ended up with just 14 points.

From a defensive standpoint, Cleveland couldn’t string together enough stops against a Celtics team that arguably shoots the ball from 3-point range as well as any team in the league.

Boston torched the Cavaliers for 120 points and knocked down a whopping 18 triples. Derrick White — who has been shooting the ball from deep at an otherworldly 50.0 percent clip so far in the 2024 NBA Playoffs — connected on a team-high seven shots from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers will have a chance to even up the best-of-seven series and bounce back from their lopsided Game 1 loss when Game 2 kicks off on Thursday night.

Despite the notion that Mobley is supposedly playing through an injury, if he can bottle up his productive play on the offensive end of the floor from second half of Game 1 and play that way for a full 48 minutes in Game 2, the Cavaliers should at least have a puncher’s chance to tie up the series before it shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4.

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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.