The Cleveland Cavaliers can do no wrong right now. Winners of seven straight, the Cavs took apart the Detroit Pistons on Friday, 112-88, despite being without the services of starting backcourt Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, both of whom are nursing injuries.
Who stepped up? A lot of guys. The Cavs are extremely deep. Kevin Love went for 21 points and 10 assists, his first assist double-double since 2014. Jarrett Allen finished with 23 points and seven rebounds. Caris LeVert, who's had great energy to start the year and is shooting over 45 percent from 3, tallied 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 percent shooting and just 24 points in the paint, where Evan Mobley, with a career-high eight blocks, was patrolling with, as Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff put it, a Bill Russell-type presence.
"It wasn't just eight blocks - it was eight blocks that retained possession and he did it without committing a foul," Bickerstaff told reporters. "That's old school Bill Russell stuff we're talking about."
Indeed, Bickerstaff is correct. Mobley didn't commit a single foul, and Cleveland retained possession on seven of his eight blocks, two of which led to breakout fast-break buckets, as you can see below.
This is utter domination. A few of those Mobley just straight-up ripped the ball away from his man. To go with these eight bocks, Mobley chipped in with 11 points and eight boards. He consistently established low post position on the undersized Pistons and showed good touch on a couple of turnaround jumpers. The Cavaliers, who will go for their eighth straight win against the Lakers on Sunday, finished with 13 blocks as a team.