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Cavaliers’ Evan Mobley shines on defense in preseason opener

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Evan Mobley entered the NBA draft as one of the most versatile defenders in the class, and it was that ability that was on full display in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason opener.

Mobley finished his debut game on Tuesday with 10 points, eight rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal in 22 minutes of work. He went 3-of-7 from the field and converted all four free-throw attempts during a 131-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The 7-footer earned praise from Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff for his effort on the defensive end of the floor. The player and coach had a conversation about attacking the glass, something Mobley did after hauling in seven boards on that end.

“I thought he did a really good job of being on the defensive glass, protecting the rim and challenging shots,” Bickerstaff said. “We saw him be able to switch onto some defenders and keep small guys in front of him. Offensively, I thought he was able to pick his spots. It’s Game 1 for him in the preseason, but I thought he was good.”

Mobley flashed that switchability on a strong defensive sequence versus Alex Caruso. He attempted to close out on Caruso in the corner, but the guard got by him and pulled up from midrange. Mobley used his lateral quickness to get to Caruso and swat the shot away.

“I feel like I played pretty well,” Mobley said. “On the defensive end, I feel like I did my job — helped the bigs, got out to the shooters, got a few blocks and rebounds. Offensively, I feel like I could have done a little better but overall, it was the first game and I think I did pretty well.”

Mobley believes the versatility he brings to the Cavaliers is one of his biggest strengths. His blend of size and athleticism, along with his instincts and switchability, make him a player capable of doing quite a few things on the court.

He has spent much of the offseason preparing for his opportunity in Cleveland, and the organization got a glimpse of his potential on Tuesday night. The future appears to be bright for Mobley.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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