While Cleveland Cavaliers newcomer Donovan Mitchell does a lot of things really well, he isn’t exactly known as a plus defender.
At 6-foot-1, Mitchell is a bit undersized, and with the Cavs, he’s set to play alongside another undersized guard in Darius Garland, who’s also 6-foot-1.
Some fans have expressed concern over how a Garland-Mitchell backcourt will perform on the defensive end of the floor, but Mitchell seems motivated to take a leap defensively.
#Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell acknowledges he hasn’t been the best on defense up to this point but joining this team is motivating him to improve on that end of the floor.
— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) September 14, 2022
It’s certainly a good sign that Mitchell realizes he has room for growth on the defensive end. He’s still only 26 years old and has time to improve in that department.
Garland showed some signs of growth on the defensive end last season, and the Cavs would surely love to see more of that in the upcoming campaign.
While the defensive play of Cleveland’s backcourt will be something to keep an eye on this season, there’s no doubt that the team’s frontcourt will continue to produce on the defensive end.
With Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley set to return as a frontcourt duo, opposing bigs are going to have some long nights against the Cavs this season.
Expectations are high for Cleveland with the 2022-23 campaign approaching. After the squad barely missed out on a playoff bid last season, fans are hoping the team will take the next step this season.
Whether he takes a leap as a defender or not, Mitchell figures to provide the Cavs with some memorable performances this season and beyond. The three-time All-Star is coming off of a 2021-22 season in which he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.
However, the star guard is likely itching to do more than just produce lofty stats. He hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs in his NBA career, and he’s looking to change that in the upcoming campaign.
Time will tell if that’s in the cards.