While Cleveland Cavaliers fans are looking forward to seeing their squad in the playoffs for the first time in years, at least one NBA scout is keeping an eye on another storyline.
The scout seems interested in following how Cavs star Donovan Mitchell performs in the 2023 postseason to find out whether or not the four-time All-Star is “that guy.”
“You get Donovan for the playoffs,” a rival Eastern Conference scout told ESPN. “We’ll see if he’s that guy or not.”
Mitchell has a very solid playoff track record and plenty of experience. He made the playoffs in all five of his seasons with the Utah Jazz. The Cavs haven’t officially clinched a playoff bid this season, but when they do, Mitchell will be 6-for-6 in making the playoffs during his NBA career.
In 39 career playoff games, Mitchell has averages of 28.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest. Those numbers are roughly in line with his averages this season, as he’s putting up 27.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game so far in the 2022-23 campaign.
The only real knock against the 26-year-old’s playoff resume is the fact that he’s never made it past the second round. That’s likely part of the reason why the Jazz opted to move in a new direction last offseason when they traded away both Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
While the Cavs would certainly love to make it past the second round this season, doing so is going to be a tough task. If the Cavs were to enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed (as expected), they’d draw the No. 5 seed in the first round before likely getting the No. 1 seed next. That would probably mean a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks or Boston Celtics, teams that both are very dangerous.
But Cleveland has defeated both of those teams this season, so anything is possible. Mitchell is surely itching to prove that he has what it takes to lead a team to the promised land.
Time will tell if that’s in the cards this season or sometime in the future. It has been a fantastic first year for Mitchell in a Cavs uniform, and the coming years look undeniably bright for Cleveland given the young core it has assembled.