Cavaliers Notes: Mobley, Garland, Allen, Thompson, Porter

Injured Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley is making steady progress in his return from left knee surgery and participated in a contact practice on Thursday, according to Chris Fedor of, who says Mobley could return as soon as next week after being sidelined since December 6.

If everything continues to progress, it will be soon,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told Fedor. “He’s progressed positively. It’s what you want to see. He hasn’t had any setbacks to slow his progression. He continues to ramp up in the right direction. It’s what we expected. He looks good. He continues to build. It remains a matter of how everything responds.”

However, even if Mobley does come back next week, he’ll be on a minutes restriction to start out, Fedor notes.

It will probably be a low-20-minute-a-night workload to start with,” Bickerstaff said. “We’ve got to ramp him back up. When you go down with a knee injury, not a lot of conditioning that you can do and those types of things. You can’t simulate the NBA. We will work on that. We will let him get his conditioning back. The minutes will increase as that gets better.”

Mobley may be back soon, but point guard Darius Garland will likely be out a while longer, Fedor adds. Garland is working his way back into shape after sustaining a broken jaw on December 14 vs. Boston.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Center Jarrett Allen set a team record with his 12th consecutive double-double in Monday’s win over Orlando, Fedor writes for (subscription required). Allen later extended the streak to 13 games in Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee. Allen has stepped up in a major way since Mobley and Garland went down with injuries, averaging 18.4 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.4 BPG while shooting 64.0% from the field and 83.9 from the line during the streak. “He’s a hell of a person,” star guard Donovan Mitchell said of Allen, a former All-Star. “To see the work that he puts in on a daily basis, it’s great to see those efforts starting to come to fruition. To be able to do it after losing someone who is an All-Defensive player like Ev, be able to hold the fort down, set that tone for us, it’s incredible. I’m happy for him. He acknowledged it but he’s not satisfied. The biggest thing was the win. These don’t mean anything if we lose. I think that’s one of the things that’s so special about him. He means everything to us. He is the catalyst.”
  • Backup center Tristan Thompson gave an emotional apology to his teammates before the news of his 25-game suspension was announced, Fedor adds in another subscriber-only story. A veteran leader with a prominent voice in the locker room, Thompson was suspended for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Thompson’s teammates said they gained more respect for him for taking responsibility for his actions. “Tristan is huge for our team,” Max Strus said. “The things he does as leader off the court and what he does for us on the bench, the inspiration he gives us when he plays and how hard he plays, we’re going to miss that. We’re just gonna ask somebody else to step up. We have to band around our brother. We’re always going to be here for him.”
  • According to rookie guard Craig Porter, who is on a two-way deal with Cleveland, the only reason he’s in the NBA is because he was able to attend the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, he told Alex Kennedy on the Running Up The Score podcast (Twitter video link). That’s how he drew the attention of NBA scouts, with Porter saying he’d be playing overseas right now if he hadn’t had the opportunity. Porter has been viewed as a strong candidate to be promoted to a standard deal later in the season, as two-way players aren’t playoff-eligible.
View Comments (9)