The Cleveland Cavaliers are now just hours away from their first playoff game in years, and while many players on the roster will be getting their first experience in the playoffs, superstar guard Donovan Mitchell will feel right at home.
In fact, Mitchell has advanced to the playoffs in every season of his career so far. He’s about to begin his sixth playoff run since entering the league in 2017.
He recounted one of his earliest NBA postseason memories recently and admitted that he nearly threw up out of nervousness during his playoff debut.
Mitchell’s first playoff series came when he was a member of the Utah Jazz facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round in 2018. That season, the Thunder were led by players like Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
The gravity of the moment caught Mitchell by surprise.
“I started off hot and I get to my first timeout and I tell my coach like, ‘Yo, I’m ready to throw up,’” Mitchell recalled. “It hits people differently.”
That experience, and the many other playoff experiences that Mitchell has been through, have certainly prepared him for what’s ahead.
Mitchell has become a major leader for the Cavs since joining the team via trade last offseason, and his experience will surely help keep the ship steady as youngsters like Darius Garland and Evan Mobley get their first taste of playoff basketball.
Without a doubt, the Cavs are going to need all the leadership and composure they can get in the first round. They have a tough matchup against the New York Knicks, and many are predicting that the series will go to seven games.
For Mitchell this postseason, he’s going to try to do something that he has not yet achieved in his impressive NBA career: get past the second round. That’ll be tough, as a win over the Knicks in the first series would likely pit the Cavs against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.
The Bucks are seen as one of the top contenders in the NBA this season. Still, to get the ultimate prize, teams have to prove that they are the best.
Surely, Mitchell and company are ready to go out there and try to prove that they are just that.