Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley was off to such a terrific start this season that other NBA coaches were reportedly telling JB Bickerstaff that they were jealous they didn’t get to coach the talented big man. However, his strong start hit a bump in the road Monday night when he exited the Cavs game against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter with an elbow sprain.
After getting an MRI Tuesday morning, the Cavaliers announced that Mobley will miss 2-4 weeks with a right elbow sprain. It’s difficult to tell exactly what happened to cause the injury from the broadcast angle, but late in the third quarter Mobley was trying to defend a pick-and-roll and swung his arm around to try and deflect a pass from Marcus Smart. His effort helped force a turnover, but after the ball went out of bounds he clutched at his elbow and doubled over, seemingly in pain.
Mobley initially stayed in the game but checked out with 11:04 left in the fourth quarter and did not return. It’s a tough blow for the Cavaliers and for Mobley, as the young big man has been so much fun to watch and is already drawing comparisons to players such as Kevin Garnett and Anthony Davis because of his skill, athleticism and defensive prowess.
Even with his rough game against the Celticso on Monday night — where he went 0 for 11 from the field — Mobley is still averaging 14.6 points, eight rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, and is displaying poise well beyond his years.
Thanks in large part to his presence, the Cavs have gotten off to a great start and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 9-6. Cleveland will have to see if it can sustain that success without Mobley for what could potentially be a month.