Cuttino Mobley emerged from the tumult of the Clippers' offseason as second to only Chris Kaman in longevity with the Clippers. In this morning's Los Angeles Times, veteran columnist Bill Dwyre pens a glowing portrayal of Mobley as an unheralded former second-round pick who, for his workmanlike consistency and mastery of the little things, is deserving -- but rarely a recipient -- of the spotlight:
When [Mobley] came to the Clippers, so did Sam Cassell, and there has never been a spotlight Cassell didn't dominate. And now that he has gone, as well as Corey Maggette and Elton Brand, the Clippers have filled those spots in the bright lights with Davis and Camby.Mobley is in an interesting spot this season. In some respects, he has more responsiblity than ever. Depending on whether Dunleavy occasionally chooses to slide Baron Davis over to pick up some difficult defensive assignments at the 2 [doubtful, but not beyond the realm of possibilty], Cat emerges as the team's only real defensive stopper on the perimeter.
Which leaves Mobley right where he has usually been -- a very good, not very famous player in a city where fans worship stars more than they assess talent.
None of which bothers Mobley.
John Hollinger, in his 2008-09 player profiles, has some nice things to say about Mobley -- even as Hollinger points out that "in truth [Mobley]'s a bit of a stretch as a starter at this point." Hollinger notes that Mobley excels as a post-up guard, something we've seen repeatedly over the years, and a feature that's consistent with what Dunleavy likes to see in his guards:
Mobley loves to perch on the right block for a turnaround and is quite good at it. Last year he took 104 shots from post-up range on the right side of the floor, an enormous total for a 6-4 guard who was a secondary offensive player.
Only four guards shot more from there (Kobe Bryant, Richard Hamilton, Andre Miller and Chris Paul), and Mobley took 29.3 percent of his total attempts from that spot, which not only was the most in the league but was also the most since 2005. And while many players struggle from that distance, Mobley hit 47.1 percent.
Really interesting data, don't you think?
Not to harp on this point because I concede that there are good counter-arguments, but the Clips -- who consist of three exceptional post-up starters, one spot-up shooter, and one strong iso slasher -- are a very, very strong halfcourt team. Again, that's not to say they shouldn't maximize their opportunities in transition, but the Clips could potentially be a match-up nightmare in a controlled offense, particularly against smaller teams. Might make for more boring basketball, but it's a dynamic they'd be crazy not to exploit.