The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off a blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell in 2022 so they could have a battle-tested superstar who could help elevate the team. On Friday night, during Game 6 of the Cavs’ 2024 first-round series against the Orlando Magic, Mitchell was fulfilling his mission as his team’s main man just so they could get a win on the road and seal the series. He came in and did everything he was supposed to do, scoring 50 points on 22-36 shooting from the field.

Alas, Mitchell’s performance did not end in a win. The Magic, thanks to a balanced scoring attack from Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs, all of whom had 20+ points each, took a 103-96 victory to send the series back to Cleveland and force a Game 7. The Cavs simply could not muster much offense outside of Spida; in fact, Mitchell scored all of his team’s 18 points in the final period as they faltered in front of a raucous Kia Center crowd.

It’s such an indictment of the Cavs team that, apart from Donovan Mitchell, they were unable to rise to the occasion. Mitchell was carrying hard; he took the fourth-most shots of anyone who has scored 50 or more points in playoff history, and he made 61.1 percent of his attempts (22-36). It was a performance worthy of a win, and yet the Cavs let it slip with some poor defense and some erratic shot-making, causing fans to express their disbelief on social media.

“Wdym Donovan Mitchell dropped 50 and they still lost???” one fan wrote on Twitter (X). Added another, “get Donovan Mitchell some help JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST.”

However, some fans contended that Donovan Mitchell’s 50-point game was empty; they believe that the Cavs star was playing hero ball and did not make his teammates better.

“Sure Donovan Mitchell 50 tonight but what does it get us? He doesn’t elevate anyone else,” said one Cavs supporter. Added another Twitter (X) user, “2024 Donovan Mitchell is 2018 Bradley Beal. Insane bucket getter but cannot elevate his teammates.”

Whatever the case may be, Mitchell certainly did his best in trying to will the Cavs to victory on a night where nothing would fall for his teammates. Mitchell was supposed to be joining an impressive young core in Cleveland, but he looked isolated than ever before — even more so than when he was with the Utah Jazz.

Evan Mobley with a complete disappearing act

Many believed that Evan Mobley’s eventual home in the NBA would be the center position; with Jarrett Allen out yet again due to a rib injury, the opportunity was there for Mobley to carve up the Magic. Instead, the Cavs big man struggled immensely and his impact was rarely felt, if at all, at a time when his team needed him the most.

Despite tallying five blocks, Mobley had a lackluster game; after all, he is supposed to be more than just a blocks specialist. Instead, he played passively, and he took just five shots (making one of them) as he struggled to acclimate to the physicality of a hotly-contested Game 6. He ended up being in foul trouble as he finished the game with an unseemly three points and seven rebounds.

Evan Mobley ended up catching a lot of flak for not stepping up, and he simply has to be better moving forward.

“Evan Mobley no show cost them the game. The anointed second coming of Kevin Garnett scored 3 pts,” one fan pointed out. Wrote another, “Evan Mobley – you were hoping for Anthony Davis or Kevin Garnett. You got Serge Ibaka instead.”

Some even went as far as to say that the Cavs should cut bait on Mobley after how poorly he played in Game 6.

“Cavs should trade Evan Mobley before they give him a DeAndre Ayton contract,” wrote the fan.

Suffice to say, Cavs fans are not pleased with Evan Mobley; let’s see how he responds with the Cavs facing a must-win scenario in Game 7.

Cavs’ supporting cast provides zero help

Darius Garland may be deserving of some criticism, but he isn’t exactly to blame after he shot efficiently from the field and was the Cavs’ only source of reliable offense outside of Donovan Mitchell. But as the team’s point guard, he cannot afford to be so careless with possession. He had two backbreaking turnovers in the fourth, and he took a grand total of one shot in the quarter, and that was with the game already out of reach.

But the other Cavs outside of Garland and Mitchell were actually complete zeroes on the offensive end. The non-Garland and Mitchell Cavs went 10-33 and missed some crucial shots in the fourth as the Magic defense zeroed in on Mitchell. But in Game 7, Cleveland’s role players should be able to play better, as they tend to shoot better in front of their home crowd than on the road.