As the Cleveland Cavaliers begin their West Coast road trip, Donovan Mitchell is getting a night off.
Per the latest injury report, Mitchell is listed as out for Friday’s game due to rest. This will mark the fifth game that Mitchell has missed this season and the first since back-to-back games on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10.
Mitchell joins Dylan Windler (ankle), Ricky Rubio (ACL recovery), Dean Wade (shoulder) and Isaiah Mobley (two-way contract) on the bench. Darius Garland, still dealing with a right thumb sprain, is listed as questionable after being listed as doubtful for the past several games.
This feels like a good moment to give Mitchell a night off. It’s the start of a road trip, a game at altitude and he’s played heavy minutes with Garland out of late. Denver also plays on Thursday, so Cleveland has the advantage of catching them on a back-to-back.
What the starting lineup would look like depends on Garland’s status. If he can go, that takes care of the point guard spot and give the Cavs a lead ball handler. If Garland’s can’t play and misses another game, perhaps that pushes Raul Neto in the starting lineup. Caris LeVert seems likely to start either way.
The Cavs and the Nuggets tipoff at 9 p.m. EST.