“My job is to focus on this,” Mitchell said, cutting off the question. “We have two guys that are out, so I’m not answering anything. And no disrespect. I appreciate that you have to ask the question, but I’m not going there with any of those questions. My focus is on these guys being out, us trying to find a way to get wins.”
Both Mitchell and floor general Darius Garland have been featured in recent trade buzz. During Mitchell’s stint with the Cavs, there has been an endless amount of speculation regarding how long he’ll remain with the organization, as many believe his future will take him elsewhere.
Against the Hawks, Mitchell picked up the slack as a playmaker in the absence of arguably Cleveland’s best passer in Garland, who will be sidelined for the next few weeks with a fractured jaw. Mitchell dished out a career-high 13 assists against the Hawks. Making that total even more impressive is the fact that he committed just one turnover.
The 27-year-old also finished with 22 points, five rebounds and two steals while shooting 7-of-21 from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc across 41 minutes of playing time.
With the Cavs adjusting to life without Garland and Evan Mobley, Saturday’s win was a nice step.
Mitchell has put up big numbers so far in his second season as a member of the Cavaliers franchise. Across 21 appearances, he is averaging 27.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from 3-point range.
The Cavaliers are now 14-12 after beating the Hawks on Saturday, which is the eighth-best record in the Eastern Conference. They are six games back of the Boston Celtics — who are riding a four-game winning streak — for the best record in the conference.
Cleveland will play its next three games against the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans. The Rockets and Pelicans are both playing great basketball right now, as Houston has won five games in a row while New Orleans has won three in a row.