Donovan Mitchell gets brutally honest after latest Cavs loss: ‘Gotta pick this s–t up’

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell was brutally honest about the team after it lost to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Cleveland’s loss to Boston was the team’s third straight defeat – two to Boston and one to the Orlando Magic – pushing the Cavs’ record to just 13-12 so far this season.

“We’ve got to play better,” Mitchell said. “It sounds very simple but it’s just a consistency. Some nights it’s offense. Some nights it’s defense. Every night it’s something different and that is the tough part. But 25 games in, it can go one of two ways. I know which way we are going to go. Keep finding a way. Keep communicating. If we were to give up now, we wouldn’t be competitors. Not going to sit here and act like the sky is falling, but there is a sense of urgency. Gotta pick this s— up.”

Cleveland scored just 107 points on Thursday night against Boston, and the team was outscored by six points in the fourth quarter in what was a nine-point loss.

Mitchell, who was an All-NBA selection for the Cavs last season, finished the game with 31 points on 12-of-24 shooting from the field (2-of-8 from 3-point range), eight rebounds and six assists.

Darius Garland (19 points) and Caris LeVert (26 points off the bench) were the only other players who scored double figures for the Cavs. LeVert was great, shooting 9-of-16 from the field to keep Cleveland in the game.

However, without Evan Mobley, the Cavs didn’t have enough firepower to beat Boston. The Celtics are now 12-0 at home this season following Thursday’s win.

Cleveland’s 13-12 record doesn’t sit well with Mitchell or the rest of the team, especially since the Cavs were the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference last season. After Thursday’s loss, the Cavs are just the No. 9 seed in the conference this season.

“It’s another hurdle that you have to continue to get over,” Mitchell said. “Not the end of the season. At the end of the day, we just have to find a way. Every day continuing to take steps. Unfortunately, we took a step back with these three, so we’ve got to find it. It’s there. We’ve shown it.”

The biggest issue for Cleveland this season may be how it has played against teams that are in the playoff conversation.

The Cavs are just 6-11 in their 17 games against teams with winning records. While that shows that they’ve faced a tougher schedule so far, it’s not a good sign that the Cavs are struggling against those teams.

“Sometimes you just have to keep plugging,” Mitchell said. “That’s all you can do. Keep finding ways. Watch more film. Put in more work. Whatever it is. We have guys that have been there. T.T. (Tristan Thompson). Max (Strus). Georges (Niang). So many vets you can go to. It’s tough to lose three in a row the way we did but can’t sit here and hang my head because at the end of the day we have to pick it up and figure it out. The biggest thing is all of us getting on the same page.”

Mitchell and the Cavs will look to get back on track on Saturday, Dec. 16 when they take on the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks, who also play on Friday night, have dropped five straight games.

The Cavs-Hawks matchup is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. EST from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.