The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost just 12 games so far this season, but three of those losses have come against the Toronto Raptors. Following the Cavs’ most recent loss to the Raptors on Friday night, star Donovan Mitchell discussed what the Raptors did to stymie him and his teammates.
Though Mitchell did give the Raptors credit for winning the game, he also criticized them for fouling “the whole game.” Still, a win is a win, and there is nothing wrong with playing physical basketball to get a win.
“When you foul the whole game — and they’re really good at it — they can foul the whole game and the refs aren’t going to call it on each possession,” Mitchell said following Cleveland’s 118-107 loss to Toronto. “Gotta give them credit. But we knew what we were coming into, and we just didn’t answer the bell. They’re physical. … They kicked our a–”
Mitchell had one of his worse outings since joining the Cavs in the 2022 NBA offseason in Friday’s game and finished the night with just 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and three turnovers. He shot 4-of-16 from the field in the loss and 3-of-12 from beyond the arc. Clearly, the physicality that the Raptors employed against Mitchell and the Cavs went a very long way in terms of making the star guard uncomfortable.
In the previous game against the Raptors (on Nov. 28), Mitchell scored just eight points.
Though the loss is obviously unfortunate, especially because it ended a previous five-game winning streak, there were some positives to take away from the loss. Perhaps the most impressive feat was that seven Cavs players finished the game with double-digit point totals. That’s a major testament to the team’s depth and skill.
Another nice aspect of the game was that young wing Isaac Okoro had a pretty solid outing in his fourth straight start. He finished the night with 15 points, three boards, two assists and two blocks. He shot 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point land.
With the loss, the Cavs are now just one-half game up on the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. That has set the table for what is sure to be an incredible game on Monday night between the two teams.
The Nets are currently on an eight-game winning streak.
Though the Nets are not nearly as physical as the Raptors have proven to be, they are led by two of the most skilled players in the league in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.