The Cleveland Cavaliers moved to 7-4 on the season with an impressive 126-109 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. The Cavs were spearheaded by both the old and the new, with veteran point guard Ricky Rubio and Evan Mobley leading the charge.
Rubio had the most eye-popping stat line with a career-high 37 points and 10 assists while shooting 13-of-19 from the field and a ridiculous 8-of-9 from 3-point range. But Mobley’s numbers were incredible in their own right, with the rookie big man going for a career-high 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
“He’s special and he will be special,” Rubio said of Mobley. “We don’t even know how (high) his potential can be.”
The Cavs veteran had more to say:
“First game in the Garden. Twenty years old. You have to give him credit,” Rubio said. “He’s really mature for his age. He knows how to play the game the right way. Scoring 26 points your first game in MSG is hard to do. We’re proud to have a teammate like him. It’s fun.”
While many thought the Cavs would be one of the worst teams in the NBA again, Mobley has totally changed the trajectory of this franchise with his rapid development. He should be viewed as the clear favorite to win Rookie of the Year, and he’s making Cleveland’s unique three-big lineups work thanks to his versatility on both ends of the floor.
The Cavs being 7-4 at this point in the season with their schedule is nothing short of a miracle, and they’ve been winning games in a variety of ways. We’ll see if they can keep this up all season long, but so far, this team looks like it’s for real.
A lot of that is thanks to Evan Mobley.
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