The Cleveland Cavaliers are having success in the early portion of what is expected a long absence by Darius Garland. Since Garland suffered a facial injury last Thursday versus the Boston Celtics, the Cavs have gone 2-0, with back-to-back wins over the Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Rockets on Saturday and Monday, respectively.
A big reason for the Cavs’ great form of late is the play of Donovan Mitchell, who exploded for 37 points on 14/27 shooting from the floor and 5/5 from the foul line. With Garland out, Mitchell has a heavier burden to carry, especially offensively.
“Obviously what happened to DG [Darius Garland], I have to play that game. And the biggest thing is that my teammates made it easy for me. It’s nothing forced. It is understanding ‘this is how they’ll be playing, this is how they’re guarding, this is open, this is not open’ kind of manipulate the game, and then when it’s my time, I’ll go from there.”
John Patrick Postrado ·
The temporary loss of Garland is a painful blow for the Cavs. Garland is second on the team with a 27.8 percent usage rate. Mitchell, who leads the team in that area with a 31.5 percent usage rate, is capable of putting Cleveland on his back on a nightly basis, but others will have to step up as well.
On the season, Mitchell is averaging 27.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.