J.B. Bickerstaff says Donovan Mitchell could miss Wednesday’s Cavs-Grizzlies game

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After Donovan Mitchell missed the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tuesday practice, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff expressed uncertainty as to whether Mitchell will travel with the team for its game on Wednesday night.

Mitchell left the Cavaliers’ comeback victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday with an injury. After being taken to the locker room, he never returned to the game, seeing slightly less than 22 minutes of action.

Since being acquired in a blockbuster deal during the offseason, Mitchell has given the Cavaliers the kind of production that could make him a candidate for the NBA’s MVP award.

On five occasions this season, Mitchell has scored more than 40 points in a game. His most spectacular effort came in another comeback win, this one against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 2, when he scored an eye-popping 71 points and also added 11 assists and eight rebounds.

Returning to Salt Lake City to face his old team last week, Mitchell poured in 46 points in a two-point loss to the Utah Jazz. For the season, the veteran is averaging a career-high 28.4 points, as well as 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest.

Mitchell’s presence has given the Cavaliers one of the NBA’s top starting backcourts. He’s joined by fourth-year guard Darius Garland, who will have to try to make up for Mitchell’s absence if he’s unavailable on Wednesday.

Garland is the only other Cavaliers player averaging more than 20 points per game this season (at 21.4) and leads the team with 7.8 assists per matchup.

Facing the Memphis Grizzlies on their home court Wednesday was already going to be a big challenge for the Cavs, but it’ll get even tougher if Mitchell is out.

The Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets currently share the best record in the Western Conference at 30-13. On Monday, the Grizzlies routed the Phoenix Suns, 136-106.

If Mitchell is unable to play on Wednesday night, the hope is that the rest will help make him available for Cleveland’s back-to-back home clashes on Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s matchup pits the Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors and will be followed by a Saturday night battle against the Milwaukee Bucks.

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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.