Donovan Mitchell says the Cavs are a ‘different team’ than they were a week ago: ‘There’s a swagger we have’

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After struggling through a five-game losing streak earlier this month, Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back to their winning ways.

Thus far, the 2022-23 campaign for the Cavs has been one of streaks, and they’ve been back on the winning end of things as of late. They are currently cooking with a four-game winning streak.

Of course, the season began with an eight-game winning streak for the Cavs after they dropped their season opener.

Cleveland will face the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. When talking about what’s been working for the Cavs since they lost to Milwaukee last week, Mitchell talked about the “swagger” that the young squad has been playing with in recent games.

“We’re a different team mentally coming into Milwaukee, but also understanding that we have room to improve as well,” Mitchell said. “I think there’s a confidence about us. There’s a swagger we have. This will be a great test to see where we are at, especially when you just played them, and they are fresh on your mind.”

When the Cavs and Bucks played last week, Milwaukee bullied Cleveland to the tune of a 113-98 final.

Going into Friday’s rematch, Mitchell is clearly not worried about that previous result having an impact on the confidence that the Cavs are currently playing with.

Mitchell’s backcourt mate Darius Garland, who has been magnificent in recent games, echoed a similar sentiment. He touched on the great defense the team has been playing.

“Defensive identity definitely changed over this last week,” Garland said. “I think we started to get back to it. I think we started to play more physical. We’re getting more stops on the defensive end, which is leading to offense.”

Getting big man Jarrett Allen back has been huge. He missed the final two games of the recent losing streak and has been looking like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate once again in recent games.

Garland also highlighted the contributions of Lamar Stevens.

“Lamar is leading it, to be honest with you,” Garland said of the increased physicality. “He’s setting that tone for us on the defensive end, and I think it’s just wearing off on everybody else.”

While the five-game losing streak was somewhat concerning to see, the quick turnaround for the Cavs has likely only added to their confidence early in the season.

Seeing Garland and Mitchell lead off the court has been fantastic as well. The two stars have become crucial to the heart and soul of the team.

Over his last six games, Garland has averaged 31.7 points, 8.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Mitchell has been similarly impressive in his last five games, as he’s put up 26.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per contest.

They’re both saying the right things off the court and doing the right things on it.

While Friday’s game against the Bucks is sure to be a tough one, Cavs fans can rest assured that the young and talented team will be confident and ready heading into the matchup.

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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.