The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without star Donovan Mitchell for a second straight game, as he is dealing with a hamstring injury.
While there might be some concerns about the possible long-term effects of his hamstring strain, a source close to the team doesn’t believe it’s that serious.
“Don’t think it’s bad,” the source told Cavs Insider.
Mitchell appeared to tweak the hamstring during the Cavs’ victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Cleveland was leading 105-89 when the four-time All-Star left the game for good. He finished the evening with 34 points on a 13-for-20 shooting clip from the field and 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
Among those who were listed as questionable to suit up for the team’s Friday bout against the Detroit Pistons, he eventually ended up sitting out the contest.
Donovan Mitchell (right hamstring strain) and Darius Garland (neck strain) are both questionable tomorrow vs. Pistons.
No Isaac Okoro (left knee) or Ty Jerome (right ankle) again. #Cavs
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) November 16, 2023
Fortunately for the Cavs, his teammates were up to the task and managed to pull off a 108-100 win. Darius Garland led the way with 28 points, while Evan Mobley and Max Strus added 18 points apiece.
Cleveland will certainly have a tougher time on Sunday, though, as it will be hosting the defending champion Denver Nuggets without its leading scorer. What the Cavs could have going for them is that the Nuggets have lost two of their past three matches, dropping road contests to the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans.
Both losses saw Nikola Jokic put up monster stats. Against the Rockets, he recorded 36 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists. He then had 26 points, 16 rebounds and 18 assists versus the Pelicans.
Denver’s opponents had at least two players score more than 20 points in each game, with Houston getting 26 points and 23 points from Fred VanVleet and Alperen Sengun, respectively, and New Orleans seeing three players (Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas) eclipse the 20-point mark.
So, the Cavs will need Garland and other players to step up if they want to extend their win streak to three games and go up in the standings with a 7-6 record.
It remains to be seen if Mitchell will be available for Cleveland’s next contest against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. Hopefully, he will have recovered fully by then.