Count Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley as a member of the NBA’s defensive elite.
Mobley, in his second year, was named the 2022-23 NBA All-Defensive First Team. He was the seventh player in Cavs history to make an All-Defensive team, joining Jim Brewer (Second Team in 1975-76 and 1976-77), Jim Cleamons (Second Team in 1975-76), Larry Nance Sr. (First Team in 1988-89 and Second Team in 1991-92 and 1992-93), Bobby Phills (Second Team in 1995-96), LeBron James (First Team in 2008-09 and 2009-10) and Anderson Varejao (Second Team in 2009-10),
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second-youngest player in NBA history to make an All-Defensive team. Mobley, at 21 years and 295 day old at the end of the season, is only beat by Kobe Bryant, who was 21 and 71 days old at the end of the 1999-00 season. Additionally, per Elias, the last NBA player to make an All-Defensive Team in his first or second season was Tim Duncan in 1998-99 (his second season) and the last to make a First Team honor in his first or second campaign was Don Buse in 1976-77 (his rookie season).
Some Mobley defensive stats worth considering:
- He averaged 1.51 blocks (ninth-best in NBA) and 0.76 steals.
- He ranked first in the league in defensive win shares (4.8)
- Tied for first in contested three-pointers per game (3.6) and fourth in the NBA in total contested shots per game (11.4).
- He recorded at least one block in 59 games (fourth-most in NBA) and his 119 total blocks were the sixth-most in the NBA.
Cleveland’s defense was also great, finishing first in defensive rating during the regular season per Cleaning The Glass.
Mobley was on the first team with Grizzlies big Jaren Jackson Jr. (the defensive player of the year), Bucks center Brook Lopez, Bulls guard Alex Caruso and Bucks guard Jrue Holiday.
Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, Celtics guard Derrick White, Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby, Warriors forward Draymond Green and Heat center Bam Adebayo made the second team.