Donovan Mitchell believes it’s unacceptable he has 2 total assists in last 2 Cavs games as a ‘playmaker’

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Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

A frustrated Donovan Mitchell assessed his recent performances and lamented his struggles to serve as a playmaker for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mitchell offered his remarks after the Cavaliers lost 117-102 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night and made a point (at the 1:14 mark) to take a good portion of the blame for the defeat.

“This is a learning lesson, and we just gotta be better,” said Mitchell. “I gotta be better with the ball. I can’t have one assist, especially in back-to-back games. I’m a playmaker.”

Mitchell ended the game against the Bucks with the aforementioned one assist after also hitting that season-low mark just two nights earlier. That one-assist effort in the win over the Portland Trail Blazers was largely overlooked because of the 18-point Cavs victory.

The fact that Mitchell is focusing on team leadership and willing to take the blame when things go off course is actually a positive sign for the Cavaliers. The team acquired the superstar guard during the offseason in a blockbuster deal and is undoubtedly happy with what he’s done so far this season.

Even though the consecutive one-assist games stand out, it’s important to remember that in the team’s Monday night victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Mitchell ended the game with nine assists.

That marked the fourth time this season that he’s reached that total and is surpassed only by the 12 assists he dished out in a win against the New York Knicks on Oct. 30.

Mitchell has started in all 17 of the games he’s appeared in this season for the Cavaliers. He’s currently averaging a whopping 30.0 points per game along with 5.4 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest.

Stats like those are the reason why any dip in Mitchell’s numbers should be seen as a simple aberration and not as the beginning of an ominous downturn in his game.

Right now, the Cavaliers have a 12-7 record. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference behind the Bucks and Boston Celtics.

With many more games left to play, the Cavaliers have ample time to make a move in the standings. If and when that happens, Mitchell figures to be a major part of that rise.

For now, Mitchell and the Cavaliers have to shake off the loss and prepare for Sunday’s road clash against the Detroit Pistons.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.