Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley will return for Friday’s crucial matchup against the Nets, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
Mobley will start the game at center, moving Moses Brown back to the bench, and is expected to play around 30 minutes, Fedor reports.
Mobley has missed Cleveland’s last five games with a sprained left ankle; the team went just 1-4 in his absence. Mobley had previously been listed as questionable for Friday’s game, but was able to do “everything” at practice on Thursday.
The 7’0″ big man is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year this season, posting averages of 14.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 blocks on .506/.253/.664 shooting through 67 games (33.9 minutes per night).
Cleveland’s road game at Brooklyn will have a major effect on the seedings for the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. The Cavaliers are currently the No. 7 seed at 43-37, but only hold a one-game lead over Brooklyn and Atlanta (both are 42-38). Charlotte, the current No. 10 seed, trails by two games at 41-39.
The Cavs have dealt with a number of injuries to key players this season, so Mobley’s return will be a welcome boost for the struggling club. All-Star center Jarrett Allen (broken finger) remains sidelined, and Cleveland is also playing without Dean Wade (knee) and Collin Sexton (knee), who are both out for the rest of the season.
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