Donovan Mitchell goes off after latest Cavs loss: ‘It’s f—–g April…we’ve got to figure it out’

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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell went off after the Cavs’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Mitchell referenced a conversation he had earlier on this season about the team’s struggles and said they can’t be happening at this point in the 2023-24 campaign.

“I told you at the beginning of the season, if we had these struggles at this point then it’s a problem,” Mitchell said, referring to a conversation he had after the Cavs started 3-5. “It can’t happen. I can say all this now. We have to find a way to figure it out. It’s not going to linger after tonight. Have to watch the film and get back to what we do. But it can’t happen. We can all point to s—. It’s April. It’s (expletive) April. We’ve got to figure it out. And we will.”

The Cavs were blown out by Denver on Sunday, losing 130-101. The team struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc (8-for-25), and Mitchell did not have his best game.

The All-Star guard finished Sunday’s meeting with just 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field, six assists, one steal and two turnovers. He posted a team-worst plus/minus of minus-27.

Mitchell, who is dealing with a nasal fracture and knee injury, didn’t make any excuses for his play, even though he’s clearly not at 100 percent right now.

“I’m working back into it,” Mitchell said when asked if he was playing at less than full strength. “That’s natural. I’m not worried about it. Just continue to build the reps and build the mental confidence in it. At the end of the day I’m fine. I have to play better. We all have to play better. I’m not going to sit here and point to that. Everybody else is going to look at it like that. But it’s April. Gotta be better.”

Denver, the defending NBA champion, is one of the better teams in the league, but it’s certainly concerning to see the Cavs struggle to compete with an elite team this close to the playoffs.

Cleveland is currently the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the team has just a 0.5-game lead on the New York Knicks. Plus, the No. 5-seeded Orlando Magic are making a push for a top-three spot in the conference as well, sitting 1.5 games back of the Cavs ahead of Monday night’s action.

After the Cavs collapsed in the playoffs last season, losing to the Knicks in just five games in the first round, it’s reasonable for Mitchell to have some concerns with the team’s struggles at this point in the season.

The Cavs don’t want to have another early playoff exit, especially since the team has been one of the best squads in the East for the majority of the 2023-24 season. Cleveland is just 4-6 in its last 10 games, and the team will look to bounce back on Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz.

That game is scheduled to tip off at 9. p.m. EST in Utah on April 2.

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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.