I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Evan Mobley is playing basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight as they take on the Orlando Magic for their last preseason game. Mobley is the reason to watch and care about this game, but there could be some other fun story lines to watch as we wrap up preseason. Here’s a few things to keep an eye on.
- Battle for rotation minutes. This is the last opportunity for guys like Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens and Robin Lopez to show that they are deserving of consistent minutes. They will all get some playing time based on the matchup, but how consistent those minutes are is up in the air. A good showing tonight will help state a final case before the start of the season.
- Mamadi Diakite’s claim on a roster spot. Diakite has been the biggest surprise this preseason and has made a compelling case that he deserves to be on the roster. We’ll see if he can back up his strong performance on Wednesday. You can read more about the 15th roster spot here.
- RJ Nembhard’s two-way spot. Nembhard is currently on a two-way deal but hasn’t seen much preseason action. He also hasn’t done well in the minutes he’s gotten. Is his two-way spot guaranteed? Can someone like Diakite, if he doesn’t grab the 15th spot, or Sharife Cooper steal that two-way deal from him? I’m not sure, but Nembhard could certainly use a good game regardless.
- The starting three race. It seems like a two horse race for the opening night starting spot between Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to learn much about who fits in best with the starters considering Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen are all out. But, maybe one last good showing from either sways J.B. Bickerstaff’s mind as to who the opening night starter should be.
- The Mobley duo. Isaiah Mobley hasn’t had a great preseason which shows he will need some time to develop in the G League. That means he probably won’t see many meaningful minutes this season. Evan, conversely, will only see meaningful minutes and will not be playing in garbage time. We might not get many chances for the two share the floor together throughout the regular season. That said, they will likely get an opportunity to do that tonight which will be cool to see.