Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell recently expressed some confidence in his ability to make shots even though he’s struggling from the field right now.
“At the end of the day, I could miss 25 in a row but when it’s time I know what my job is,” Mitchell said of scoring in the clutch. “Outside of the dumb turnovers that I had, those were all shots I make and I’m just not making them right now. Just got to continue to take them and trust in it. My teammates trust me, especially late in games. That’s my job, it’s what I do. They will fall. I’m not worried about that.”
Since returning from injury, Mitchell has not shot the ball well. Over his last five games, the four-time All-Star is shooting just 36.4 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from beyond the arc. He has taken 19.8 shots per game over that stretch while making just 7.2 of those shots per contest.
Over that five-game stretch, Mitchell has posted a 4-for-18 shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-for-17 shooting game against the Toronto Raptors and 7-for-20 shooting display against the Portland Trail Blazers. In Saturday’s win over the Detroit Pistons, Mitchell shot just 7-for-19 from the field while scoring 20 points.
The struggles are certainly concerning, but there are signs that this is just a little cold stretch. Sandwiched in between those poor shooting games, Mitchell dropped 40 points on 14-for-25 shooting against the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavs won that game by 23 points.
Mitchell doesn’t seem to be concerned with his recent struggles, and Cavs fans have to hope that he will get back on track over the next few games.
Last season, Mitchell showed that he can be an elite scorer, earning All-NBA honors for the first time in his career. Mitchell averaged a career-high 28.3 points per game in the 2022-23 campaign while shooting a career-high 48.4 percent from the field.
The Cavs offense revolves in large part around Mitchell and Darius Garland being able to create their own shots and distribute the ball to others. Despite his struggles in this five-game stretch, Mitchell has still averaged 5.0 assists per game over those matchups.
On the season, Mitchell is putting up 27.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from 3-point range.
There is still room for growth – especially after what Mitchell did last season – but the star guard seems focused on playing his role to the best of his ability to combat his slump.