Leading the charge on both ends for the Cavaliers were the seven-footers in the frontcourt. Jarrett Allen started the first half locked in, securing a double-double in the first half alone. This continues Allen’s trend of thriving in matchups against some of the elite NBA big men. Anthony Davis now joins the club of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic whom Jarrett Allen played his aggressive form of offensive against. Stretches like these are a great reminder of how Allen is a focal point for this team not only defensively but also offensively.
Evan Mobley was also making his mark on the game as well against the Lakers. Mobley operates at his best when he is able to be that connective tissue. When he is able to move freely and act quickly Mobley shows his basketball IQ and against the Lakers, he was on full display.
Quick read from Evan Mobley— Tony Pesta (@Tony_Pesta) November 26, 2023
Continued growth in the short roll will be key to his development pic.twitter.com/ua9RIUwtS7
Mobley finished the game with 18 points on eight for twelve shooting. Both bigs in the first half were generating offense with ease, once Darius Garland got injured and didn’t return in the second half, the offense along with the bigs really stalled.
Craig Porter Jr, Daily Highlight Reel:
If there was any positive to pull from the Darius Garland injury, it was that we got a heavier dose of rising rookie sensation Craig Porter Jr. CPJ immediately came into the game and the offense immediately started to play to the methodical and patient tempo that Porter Jr has garnered attention for. Porter, over and over, has been able to have at least one play a game that shows off a special skill in his bag and Saturday night was no different.
If Garland remains out for an extended period of time, then at least if anything we get a chance to see him lead the offense. More times than not he has played alongside Darius, who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Cavaliers offense. It will allow a deeper look into such an intriguing prospect.
Darius Garland’s Face staying intact
If Statmuse stayed on top of their game, they would be creating a stat for how many times Darius Garland has been struck by opposing teams in the face. It almost makes you wonder if the scouting report by opposing teams starts with “If you got to foul Garland, hit him in the face”.
The minute the Garland injury occurred his lack of presence was felt. The offense led by Mitchell is a completely different look than with Garland. Mitchell struggles to have a mindset of both being aggressive for himself and throwing the ball around for others. As mentioned before, the bigs were the biggest benefactor from Darius being on the floor as the ball had a ton of movement, which is where the bigs thrive. The second half was a completely different story and the offense truly stagnated.
Just as the team was beginning to ramp up and operate at full strength, it appeared that the injury would rob the Cavs of having the opportunity to claim that they played a game near full strength. Mitchell also appeared to be hobbling during the game as well. With a game tonight against Toronto, the Cavaliers very well could be without both of their guards.