One of the teams hardest hit by the injury bug this season in the NBA has been the Cleveland Cavaliers. Things don’t get any easier for Cleveland with the end of the regular season. The Cavs announced Wednesday afternoon that they will be without their top rookie of the year candidate for at least the next few games.
Mobley injured his ankle in Monday’s home win over the Orlando Magic. The Cavaliers are in a good position to end their four-year playoff drought this spring, but may face the daunting task of making the qualifying tournament.
Cleveland enters Wednesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks in seventh place in the Eastern Conference at 42-33 with seven games remaining in the regular season. The top six seeds from each conference earn automatic berths in the first round of the playoffs, while the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth seeds will participate in the double-elimination tournament.
The third-overall pick in 2021, Mobley has missed just eight games all season – four due to a sprained elbow suffered in November and four more during COVID-19 protocols in December – but, when in good health, has been a force in attack, defense and glass. The former USC Trojan has averaged 14.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 blocks and 33.9 minutes per game over 67 games (all starts) this season.
Mobley shot 50.6 percent from the field and 66.4 percent from the free throw line and won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award for November.