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Watching the Market: Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

A night that looked like the Cavaliers were running out of gas was saved by Donovan Mitchell campaigning for the MVP.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Up:

Donovan Mitchell’s MVP Momentum

Donovan Mitchell is what you call “MUST SEE TV”.

There are not many players this season that have the types of plays he generates on a night-to-night basis. Whether it was watching him lob the ball to himself off the glass on Monday, to tonight where he almost recalibrates his layup to adjust for the swarm of defenders hounding him at the rim.

Tonight was a peak example of when the team looks flat shooting-wise, Mitchell can step in, put on his super suit, and drop one of the more comfortable 40-plus point performances we have seen this season. In the fourth quarter, the playbook offensively appeared to be to have Mitchell connect on his bailout shots as the play clock expired. He was what the team needed.

Evan Mobley looks like he has found his rhythm

Is it a little premature to say that Mobley has looked to have taken a jump offensively? The tape does not say so. Mobley has had whole games since returning, where he looks more comfortable than he did at any point before the injury. The jumper looks much more confident and fluid than has been shown before. His offensive aggression has been ramped up too.

Defensively, while the team collectively has been playing phenomenal defense, it feels that the addition of the runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year race has caused other teams issues. Mobley is a one-man wrecking crew on his own, arguably the best help defender in the whole league getting paired up with one of the league’s best defenses at this point in the season is almost a cheat code.

If the offense we have seen can keep up for Mobley, paired up with his All-NBA caliber defense, then we are in for a whole new type of ceiling for Mobley and this Cavaliers’ team as they look towards the postseason.


This freaking team

Maybe I am being too sentimental when it comes to the team I root for.

But Cavs feel like one of those feel-good stories that a fan only gets a few times in their lifetime. The outside noise about salary concerns and the lack of national recognition for a team that is 15-1 in their last 16 games cannot drown out how good the freaking vibes are right now. Call me crazy, but I think unless there is a move this team can make on trade deadline day, there is no reason to shake the boat for a marginal or lateral move. I expect the Cavaliers to make their transaction on the buyout market unless a can’t-miss offer is out there.

Stock Down:

Darius Garland looking to regain his form before the All-Star game

While Mobley has looked to have even surpassed how he looked before he got injured, Darius Garland has looked like a player who is still shaking the rust off. The cause for concern though when it comes to Garland, is that he wasn’t necessarily looking his best before the injury either.

We are seeing similar types of lapses in Garland’s play as we witnessed before the injury. There are too many instances where he is too loose with his decision-making causing what appears to be careless turnovers. This is not all to say that he has lost a step, He is more than capable of cutting down his turnovers and being the kind of shooter he’s shown flashes of being before. A better indicator of where Garland is this season will be after the All-Star break, but right now, he’s not at his best.