Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is here to set the record straight.
After Miami Heat guard Dru Smith suffered a season-ending ACL sprain by slipping on the court near the Cavs bench during a recent game in Cleveland, many social media users claimed that Smith fell through a hole in the floor that was covered by a piece of paper.
Mitchell let it be known via Instagram that no such hole exists.
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Mitchell is correct in pointing out the fact that there’s no hole. In reality, the court is slightly elevated, and as a result, there is a ledge outside of the playing area. When Smith landed after trying to contest a corner 3-point attempt, his foot slipped off the playing surface underneath Cleveland’s bench and over the ledge.
It’s certainly an unfortunate injury, but it wasn’t the result of a hole or any other issue with the court. However, it is fair to question the court’s design given the apparent potential for injury. After all, most other NBA courts don’t feature such a drop-off. Perhaps the Cavaliers will look into a change in the future in order to avoid the potential of other injuries like the one Smith suffered.
Mitchell missed the game against the Heat — and Cleveland’s three games prior — due to a hamstring issue. It’s also no guarantee that he’ll play against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, though the Cavs are hoping that he will be back in action soon. The star guard has appeared in 10 games for the Cavs on the season and averaged 29.2 points, 5.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 36.2 minutes per performance.
Cleveland was able to win three out of the four games that Mitchell missed recently and has won four out of its last five overall. After a somewhat slow start to the season, the Cavs have started to play better basketball lately, and they will look to continue that trend.
The Cavaliers’ next four games, including the matchup with the Lakers, will take place in Cleveland, which could be beneficial. The Cavs are just 3-4 at home so far this season, but this home stand will provide an excellent opportunity for them to improve upon that mark. Hopefully, no other court-related injuries are sustained during the stretch.