The Cleveland Cavaliers received some good news on Tuesday, as star guard Donovan Mitchell returned to practice. Dean Wade and Jarrett Allen, however, were not able to participate.
Still, it’s a positive development that Mitchell was able to give it a go.
#Cavs Donovan Mitchell practiced today. Dean Wade and Jarrett Allen did not.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) November 15, 2022
Mitchell wasn’t able to play in Cleveland’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday due to an ankle injury. It marked his second absence of the season.
With Mitchell out against Minnesota, the door was open for Darius Garland to take over, and he did just that. The youngster erupted for an extremely efficient 51 points, shooting 16-for-31 from the field and 10-for-15 from deep. He also added six assists.
Despite Garland’s huge performance, Mitchell was definitely missed, as the Cavs fell short against the Timberwolves. The Cavs lost by five.
It’s worth noting, however, that the loss was largely a product of a poor defensive performance by the Cavs (they allowed 129 points), so it’s unclear how much Mitchell would have been able to help in that regard. Allen’s absence was surely more strongly felt on that side of the court.
Still, Cleveland would love to have both members of its star backcourt available on Wednesday for a tough test against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavs are suddenly struggling to get in the win column, and they need to stop the bleeding soon.
Cleveland’s eight-game winning streak to start the season at 8-1 gave the squad a nice cushion in case of a rough stretch, and that cushion has certainly come in handy lately. The Cavs have lost four straight and are now 8-5.
Injuries haven’t been kind to Cleveland, which is a trend fans were hoping would die with the 2021-22 season. Fortunately, the Cavs haven’t suffered any devastating injuries this season, so the team could find itself near full strength at some point down the road.
Time will tell if Mitchell can play Wednesday. He’s been producing at an MVP level this season, averaging 31.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cavs are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games back of the first-place Boston Celtics.