To say that Donovan Mitchell has had a strong start to his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers would be an understatement. After his 32-point effort on Saturday in a lopsided win over the Chicago Bulls, Mitchell has become the first player in Cavs history to score at least 30 points in two straight games to start the season. Not even the great LeBron James matched that record in all his years in Cleveland.
After another remarkable performance, however, Mitchell was quick to play down his heroics. At this point, the All-Star shooting guard is just relieved to have marked his first win as a Cav (via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com):
“I’m really just more happy with the fact that we got the win,” Mitchell said. “The first game, it looked good and felt good, but we lost. So, tonight to go out here and get the first one as a group, it was great. My teammates trust me. My coaches trust me. It just allows you to play with freedom and just do what I do and not put too much pressure on myself.”
As Mitchell said, the Cavs lost in his debut despite his 31-point, nine-assist performance. Cleveland fell to the Toronto Raptors in a close one, 108-105. They were able to bounce back in a major way on Saturday, though, blowing out the Bulls, 128-96.
It is worth noting that Darius Garland was out of action against Chicago with an eye injury, and it remains unclear when he will be able to return to the lineup. In the meantime, it’s Donovan Mitchell who’s going to have to carry the load for the Cavs, who quickly return to action on Sunday against the Washington Wizards.