Donovan Mitchell says ‘electric’ Cavs crowd made home opener feel like a playoff game

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers took part in their home opener for the 2022-23 NBA season on Sunday, and the game did not disappoint.

The Cavs looked solid while playing the Washington Wizards and star Bradley Beal. Cavs newcomer Donovan Mitchell put on a show in the game.

Mitchell scored 37 points and has now scored at least 31 points in all three of his regular season games with the Cavs. Following Sunday’s 117-107 win over the Wizards, Mitchell reflected on the amazing atmosphere at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

“It felt like a playoff game. That was nuts,” Mitchell said of the energy inside the arena. “Then we had the intro, that was crazy. There were just segments throughout the game where I caught myself smiling a few times. I’m trying to lock in, but I’m just looking around like, ‘Holy s—.’ The crowd’s electric. I heard about it. I’ve played here, but I don’t think I ever heard it like that. Actually, I came to a Finals game in ‘16 and that’s when I heard it like that. But to be on this side of it and to hear the crowd just going nuts, it’s incredible.”

When the Cavs made arguably the biggest splash of the NBA offseason by trading for Mitchell, it was a clear indication from the organization that it believes it’s ready to compete for a playoff spot and more. After Cleveland spent years patiently building a winning roster, the addition of Mitchell puts the Cavs right back in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

The Cavs are expected by many to play in playoff games this season.

They have certainly looked the part so far through three games. Though they lost to the Toronto Raptors in their season opener, they could have easily won that game. Since then, they’ve pulled off two solid wins.

Mitchell has been a major reason why and is currently averaging 33.3 points, 7.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Those numbers may eventually come back down to earth, but he’s obviously off to an incredibly hot start for his new team.

With wins against the Chicago Bulls and Wizards in the books, the Cavs will now rest until Wednesday when they take on the young and talented Orlando Magic.

After that, the Cavs will face a big test on Friday night when they travel to Boston to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.