Yesterday’s game was frustrating. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in position to win last night but a few (or more than a few) calls going the other way and some timely open threes from the Toronto Raptors was enough to do them in.
The first sip
Donovan Mitchell was impressive in his Cavalier debut. He was easily the Cavs’ best player on the floor as he finished with 31 points, 9 assists, 3 turnovers and 2 steals on 12 of 21 shooting. Mitchell was also a team high +10 in 34 minutes of play. Mitchell’s 31 points tied Ron Brewer as the only other Cavalier to score 30+ points in their first Cavalier outing.
Mitchell showed why the Cavs paid such a steep price to get him. He kept the offense afloat without the services of Darius Garland putting them in a position to win. It’s no surprise J.B. Bickerstaff and Jarrett Allen had nothing but good things to say about Mitchell’s performance Wednesday night.
What Donovan Mitchell did in his @cavs debut came as no surprise to J.B. Bickerstaff.#LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/OCusNk75yI— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 20, 2022
Jarrett Allen praises Donovan Mitchell for the leadership he showed both on and off the court in his @cavs debut. #LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/QQkIkOhD87— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 20, 2022
This game is frustrating in the moment and especially in light of Garland’s injury. But we will be able to look back on Mitchell’s debut fondly. He hit the ground running while showing how he can raise this team’s ceiling.
The second sip
We got an update on Garland after last night’s game.
#Cavs J.B. Bickerstaff said Darius Garland has a laceration on the inside of his eyelid. "So obviously uncomfortable spot. His head and everything was clear, but he was cut and bleeding pretty bad from the inside of his eyelid."— Kelsey Russo (@kelseyyrusso) October 20, 2022
That experience sounds absolutely awful but there’s reason to believe it could’ve been worse. Hopefully we’ll see Darius back on the court sooner rather than later.
"He's a fighter. He's a competitor. He's gonna be back strong."— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 20, 2022
Donovan Mitchell discusses Darius Garland's injury and the @cavs' resilient response after DG left the game.#LetEmKnow pic.twitter.com/9C8RdzQWZ6
The Cavaliers stole the offseason. Now the real work starts.
Links of the day
Lowe: The 5 most intriguing players this NBA season
Daryl Morey changed the game, but he still hasn’t beaten it.
I’m bullish on the Detroit Pistons for one reason: Cade Cunningham
DeRozan scores 37, Bulls top Heat 116-108 in season opener