Cleveland Cavaliers star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has been named a starter in this year’s All-Star game. This is the first time in his six-year career that he’s been named a starter and the fourth time he’s made the team.
Mitchell is in the midst of the best season of his career. Through 41 games, he’s averaged a career-high 28.3 points per game on .481/.396/.869 shooting splits. He’s doing this while contributing 4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Mitchell has taken the Cavalier offense to a different level. His improvement as a shooter is part of the reason why he’s been such a clean fit with Darius Garland and two-traditional bigs. This is most easily seen in his pull-up three-point shooting numbers. His 42.2% on 6 pull-up threes per game is the second-highest percentage among players who are taking 3 or more pull-up threes per game behind only Steph Curry.
This has allowed Mitchell to do things that we’ve rarely seen from a Cavalier before. He has amassed five 40-point games with the Cavaliers in just 41 outings. That’s already the third-most in franchise history behind LeBron James with 51 and Kyrie Irving with 11.
We’re less than a month removed from Mitchell’s 71-point and 11-assist night which is one of the greatest regular-season games ever played. The numbers behind that achievement are still mind boggling. It was the second-most points scored in an NBA game since the introduction of the three-point line, it was the only time someone surpassed 60 points and 10 assists in game and the 99 points he either scored or assisted was the most in NBA history behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s 104.
Mitchell is the fourth Cavalier to be named an All-Star starter, joining James, Irving and Shawn Kemp. His 2023 appearance will be the 14th time a Cavalier has started the All-Star game. Ten of the previous 13 starting nominations have gone to LeBron. Mitchell will also be the 20th different Cavalier to have the honor of representing the team in an All-Star game.
Mitchell is putting together arguably one of the best seasons in franchise history from someone other than LeBron. He is deserving of this honor and whatever other awards come his way throughout the remainder of the season.
Mitchell joins Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as Eastern Conference starters. LeBron James, Nikola Jokić, Zion Williamson, Steph Curry and Luka Dončić will represent the starters for the West. All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday, February 2.
The now four-time All-Star will be returning to Salt Lake City for the festivities. The All-Star game will be played on February 9. The two teams will be picked on the night of the game.