Kevin Love compares Evan Mobley and his defensive acumen to that of Kevin Garnett while adding that he should be Rookie of the Year.
Evan Mobley has undoubtedly been the most consistently stellar rookie in the NBA this 2021-22 season. The 6’11” power forward is garnering genuine attention from All-Star voters and coaches. While Mobley may not make that particular cut, one honor that he should 100% bag is an All-Defensive Team selection.
We’ve seen defense in basketball evolve into really complex schemes from the mid-2000s, especially influenced by the likes of Tom Thibodeau. Thibs incorporated switching and help defensive schemes that made it necessary for forwards and big men to be defensively versatile.
These complexities and subtleties usually take a learning curve for rookies to ride through. Evan Mobley, however, is no ordinary rookie. He’s been the Cavs’ best perimeter defender – especially after injury to their small forward Isaac Okoro.
Mobley’s ability to switch from 1 through 5 effectively from tip is truly unique in basketball history.
Kevin Love compares Evan Mobley to Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, calls him runaway Rookie of the Year
As his teammate, Kevin Love has seen his work ethic and his mental makeup up close. JJ Redick put him on the spot by asking the former All-Star about one player who Mobley reminds Love of.
Kevin took a good moment to think about all the possible player comps. His answer, while slightly jarring given Mobley’s young age, is some well-deserved praise and adulation – a comparison to Kevin Garnett:
“In temperament and the way they go about their business is different. But I think being 7 feet tall, being able to play that mid-range, block shots, play both sides of the ball. You know, energetic, elastic. KG (Kevin Garnett) is somebody that I see at that size and body type.”
“I’m really curious as to what other people think about him. Because I think the game has changed a lot, and there’s nothing really that he’s not gonna be able to do. In 2 or 3 years, you’re gonna see him at the very, very top.”
There really aren’t many appropriate player comparisons for a prospect as polished so early as Mobley is. The sky truly is the limit for him.