The Charge took care of the Sioux Fall Skyforce for the second straight night with a 115-103 win.
Cleveland seized control of the game for extended stretches in the second and fourth quarters. They outscored Sioux Falls 42-27 in the second by knocking down 9 of their 17 three point attempts of the quarter. Getting out in transition allowed that to happen.
“Every game provides different challenges,” said Nate Hinton afterwards. “Some games we have to slow it down a bit. Some games we have to push. They were down a few bodies so our game plan was to get out and run. Let’s emphasize the easy ones before the bigs can get down.”
Hinton took over down the stretch as he scored 13-23 points in the fourth. He nearly outscored the Skyforce on his own in the final frame as Sioux Falls was held to just 15 points in the quarter.
Hinton finished the outing with 23 points on 8-11 shooting which included connecting on 5 of his 6 shots from beyond the arc. Hinton also contributed 4 assists and 4 steals in the win.
Isaiah Mobley was the leading scorer for the Charge as he finished with 26 points on 9-14 shooting while knocking down 3 of his 4 attempts from deep. He also added in 9 boards, 5 assists and 3 blocks in the win.
Mobley has made an increased effort to attack in transition. He’s been leaking out on opponent shots when he’s already near the three-point line and sprinting down the court after opponent makes. This has led to more opportunities where he can attack the basket in the open court and use his new found Euro step. It has also allowed him to take advantage of cross-mismatches in the post. This is on top of pushing in transition himself when he grabs the rebound.
“Isaiah pushing it really helps our offense,” says Hinton. “Trying to get it to a point guard can cost a few seconds that allows the defense to load up and get back. Having a big that can push it allows the wings to fill the corners. They’re not just focusing on the point guard. They have to take him because he can take it coast to coast. It brings more versatility to the game and allow us to get small advantages.”
Mobley doesn’t have the physical tools his brother does. He needs to win on the margins with heads up and hustle plays to become a consistent NBA contributor. Seeing growth in these areas, while also becoming a more willing and capable outside shooter, is encouraging and exactly what you want to see.
Defending centers has however been an issue at times for Mobley including last night. Miami Heat two-way seven footer Orlando Robinson once again made it difficult for Mobley on the defensive end tonight.
Robinson wasn’t an issue in the first half today due to getting into early foul trouble. Mobley was able to get him in foul trouble by aggressively attacking him in the halfcourt. The third quarter was a different story. The Skyforce were able to get back into the game by slowing down the pace and using Robinson to attack in the half court. Robinson picked up 13 third quarter points with Mobley as the primary defender.
The defensive end is what Mobley needs to improve on most. His offensive game has already taken noticeable steps forward in his time here. But he still can get pushed around on the defensive end like he was tonight.
Hinton has been a consistent contributor for the Charge this season. The defense and outside shot he provides on a daily basis is noticeable as something that could translate to the next level.
“My energy, my defensive instincts and ability to play hard, be a great locker room guy, and stretch the floor,” says Hinton when asked about what he could provide at the next level. “When they call me up they aren’t going to tell me ‘oh I need you to score 30 points.’ They’ll need me to go out there and disrupt the defense and do my part. Every single night I’m bringing it. I’ve been consistently ready.
“I think I’m NBA ready. But I need to keep stacking those days and do my part and becoming better. My time will come. My phone number hasn’t changed. They’ll call me soon.”
We’ll see if the 6’5” wing will get a chance to show what he can do sometime this season.
Up next: The Charge will be back in action on Monday, Dec. 5 when they welcome the Windy City Bulls to town.