Tuesday night provided some good and some bad news for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While they weren’t able to make it into the next round of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, they handed the Atlanta Hawks a harsh defeat, beating them 128-105.
Donovan Mitchell looked like the All-Star he is throughout the game, and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff took note of that after the game.
According to Camryn Justice, Bickerstaff told the press, “Everyone knows, and this isn’t a secret: Donovan Mitchell is good at basketball.”
No one is going to argue with that.
#Cavs J.B. Bickerstaff: "Everyone knows, and this isn't a secret: Donovan Mitchell is good at basketball."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) November 29, 2023
Mitchell posted 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists during the game.
He was just 3-of-11 from the three-point line but his overall field goal percentage was a robust 56%.
The whole Cavaliers roster was on a tear in the game, averaging 53% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc.
Mitchell was again the team’s most influential player but there were multiple people who got involved, such as Darius Garland (19 points and 8 assists), Evan Mobley (17 points and 19 rebounds), and others.
For the season, Mitchell is averaging 28 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists.
That is mostly in line with the numbers he produced last season, his first year with the Cavaliers.
He remains a quintessential part of the team’s plans and remains involved in nearly every possession.
The Cavaliers may have missed the next round of the In-Season Tournament because they were too far behind in their group’s standings, but Tuesday night’s win was encouraging for them.
They have now won their last six of eight games and secured back-to-back triumphs.
Can they keep it going in the days ahead against the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons?
If Mitchell puts up close to 40 points again, they can certainly rack up a couple more wins.