The Cleveland Cavaliers had a grind-it-out type of victory against the Toronto Raptors, salvaging a back-to-back and putting the team above .500 once again. Here is how the Cavs are trending in the latest market watch.
Stock up: Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley
The two starting bigs are grouped because they have been playing exceedingly well together. Over the last seven games, Mobley and Allen have combined to average 31.6 points, 18.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists while continuing to be two of the best big defenders in the league. Lineups with Mobley and Allen in them are in the 85th percentile overall and 94th percentile in allowed effective field goal percentage per Cleaning the Glass. While Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell have battled injuries throughout the season, Mobley and Allen have continued to prop things up. The big-to-big passing continues to evolve with Mobley in the short roll and Allen in the dunker spot:
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
Stock up: Tristan Thompson
Stock down: Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell returned from a hamstring injury on Saturday night against the Lakers, and it was pretty clear he was still shaking off some rust. But late in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Mitchell appeared a little gimpy as he waddled back on defense and it there was fear he reinjured trick hamstring ailments. Against the Raptors, Mitchell went 4/17 from the floor to finish his weekend shooting numbers at 8-35 (22.9%) overall and 2-11 (18.2%) from deep. It is clear that something is still irking him, and more rest may be necessary. Trying to play through an injury is not something the Cavs can afford, especially for a ball-dominant player who can sap offensive possessions when efficiency is limited.
Lineups with Garland on the court and Mitchell off have a +/- differential of -4.3 per Cleaning the Glass, but the offense passes the eye test as being a little more free-flowing. Garland is a better playmaker than Mitchell and can set the table for everyone else. In getting others involved, Garland will have the opportunity to get his points as well and defenses are forced to scramble to the outside shooters. The pathway to being a good offense even while Mitchell sits is still there, and the Cavs may have to go that route until he is healthy.