Donovan Mitchell did all he could to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night amid their embarrassing blowout loss at the hands of the New York Knicks. In the end, though, Mitchell’s efforts proved futile as the Cavs fell to their opponents in miserable fashion, 99-79, en route to falling behind 2-1 in this NBA Playoffs opening-round series.
Mitchell had a miserable game himself, but you could say that he was one of the few bright spots for the Cavs in an evening wherein they were humiliated by the Knicks. The Cavs superstar scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, and six turnovers in 38 minutes of action.
Apart from his relatively commendable effort on the court, there was one point in the game wherein Mitchell was seen screaming passionately in the bench during a timeout as if he were attempting to rally the troops:
What’s Donovan Mitchell saying pic.twitter.com/2CTwcMcFav
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) April 22, 2023
After the blowout loss, Mitchell was asked to share what was going through his mind during his emotional mid-game speech. Accoridng to the 26-year-old, he was attempting to inject some life into what was a totally lackluster collective effort by the squad:
“Just trying to light a fire,” Mitchell said. “… I think the biggest thing is we were just trying to find a way to fight at that end, and that’s all I was really doing. Leadership comes in different forms and at that point I felt like that was a good thing.”
Donovan Mitchell recounts how he tried to give his teammates a spark with his message to them during a third-quarter timeout.#LetEmKnow | #NBAPlayoffspic.twitter.com/RKm2qyyIJc
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 22, 2023
In the end, Mitchell’s message obviously did not come across as he had hoped, but the Cavs star himself is not washing his hands here. He knows that he could have played much better himself, which is exactly what he intends to do when the Cavs and the Knicks do it all over again on Sunday for Game 4.