The Cleveland Cavaliers once looked as though they were going to easily smash and eliminate the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. That is clearly not the case anymore, as the Cavs’ 2-0 series lead has now been completely evaporated, with the Magic winning both Games 3 and 4 at home. Among the major reasons behind Cleveland’s sudden decline is the letdown play of star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, who is very much aware of his relatively poor performance of late.

“He said the last two games he hasn’t been himself, but says there’s nothing in particular that’s causing that. Just has to watch film and figure it out, Kendra Andrews of ESPN reported about what Mitchell said after the Cavs’ 112-89 loss on Saturday in Orlando. Mitchell also said that Cleveland’s output of just 10 points in the third quarter was “outrageous.”

The former Louisville Cardinals star also offered a little bit of insight into his mindset seemingly affecting his play lately.

“I told you after Game 1 this is who I am, and this is why I’m here. Both games we lost I haven’t been myself. It’s on me,” Mitchell said (via Chris Fedor of When asked about what could be the reason for his susceptibility to poor play over the last two games, Mitchell just said “No”.

For what it’s worth, Mitchell, who will be turning 28 in September, has one more guaranteed year left on his contract at the moment. He will be earning $24.84 in the 2024-25 NBA campaign and has a player option he has yet to decide on for the 2025-26 NBA season worth $37.09. Mitchell was traded by the Utah Jazz to the Cavs in 2022 for Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, and some picks.

Cavs suffer meltdown in Game 4 loss to Magic

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) reacts after making a there point basket against the Orlando Magic in the second quarter during game four of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Kia Center.

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavs outscored Orlando in each of the first two periods in Game 4 to establish an 11-point lead at halftime. It’s not a commanding lead, especially in the current NBA environment where big leads can easily be overcome, but Cleveland’s meltdown, particularly in the third quarter, was a tough one to swallow for the team. Cleveland scored just 10 points in the third quarter while allowing the Magic to go off for 37 points. The Cavs’ lead at the start of the third quarter became an 18-point deficit in just a matter of 12 minutes. During that brutal third quarter, Mitchell went 0/4 from the floor and had three of the Cavs’ six turnovers in that period. As a team, Cleveland went 4/18 from the floor and 2/9 from behind the arc in the quarter, while the Magic got into serious rhythm and took complete control of the contest.

Overall in the game, Mitchell scored only 18 points on 18 attempts from the floor and had six of the Cavs’ 15 turnovers. If anything, he went a perfect 7/7 from the free throw line, but the Cavs certainly expected and needed more from him.

Over the last two games in the Magic series, Mitchell has averaged only 15.5 points on 36.7 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent shooting from the 3-point region.

The good news for Mitchell and the Cavs is that they can still turn things around just like the Magic.

The Cavs will be back home for Game 5 this coming Monday, with Mitchell looking to get back to his usual great form on the court.