Evan Mobley posts career-high eight blocks with friendly touch: ‘It’s old-school Bill Russell stuff’

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The Cleveland Cavaliers can’t hurt right now. Winners of seven straight games, the Cavs defeated the Detroit Pistons on Friday, 112-88, despite being out of starting backcourt Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, both injured.

Who intervened? Lots of guys. The Cavs are extremely deep. Kevin Love went for 21 points and 10 assists, his first assist since 2014. Jarrett Allen finished with 23 points and seven rebounds. Caris LeVert, who had plenty of energy to start the year and is shooting over 45 percent from 3, went 15-6-6. Cedi Osman hit four 3s and combined with Raul Neto for 25 points.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s defense was stifling, holding Detroit to 37% shooting and just 24 points in the paint, where Evan Mobley, with a career-high eight blocks, was patrolling with, as the Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff, a Bill Russell-type presence.

“It wasn’t just eight blocks – it was eight blocks that retained possession and he did it foul-free,” Bickerstaff told reporters. “This is old school Bill Russell we’re talking about.”

Indeed, Bickerstaff is right. Mobley didn’t foul, and Cleveland retained possession on seven of his eight blocks, two of which led to quick buckets, as you can see below.

It is total domination. A couple of those Mobleys just snatched the ball away from his man. To go with those eight bocks, Mobley contributed with 11 points and eight boards. He consistently established a low post position on the undersized Pistons and showed good touch on a few turnaround jumpers. The Cavaliers, who will go for their eighth straight win over the Lakers on Sunday, finished with 13 blocks as a team.

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