‘Comfortable’ Donovan Mitchell scores 31 in regular-season debut for Cavaliers

TORONTO — Donovan Mitchell used to be the entirety the Cleveland Cavaliers will have was hoping he’d be in Wednesday night time’s season opener right here towards the Toronto Raptors.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, then again, little else went their method.

Mitchell’s past dandy regular-season debut, which noticed him end with 31 issues and 9 assists in 35 mins, Cleveland each misplaced the sport, 108-105, to the Raptors in entrance of a sellout crowd right here at Scotiabank Arena, and in addition misplaced Mitchell’s fellow All-Star guard, Darius Garland, to a left eye laceration.

(*31*) Cavaliers trainer J.B. Bickerstaff stated of Mitchell’s play Wednesday night time. “I think it’s that easy. This isn’t something he hasn’t done before. He’s carried teams on his back so he understands the moment and he’s capable of it. It’s not new, and it’s what we expected from him.”

Mitchell eased into the sport because it went alongside, getting his first basket on a transition layup early in the primary quarter, sooner than creating a runner a couple of moments later. From there, he allowed his teammates to check out to get some pictures and get themselves going, sooner than saying himself extra because the motion improved.

That ratcheted up in a large method, then again, when Garland went to the bottom after being by chance hit in the face through Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. overdue in the second one quarter, striking a heavy burden on Mitchell’s shoulders to run Cleveland’s offense.

“That’s the big thing playing with a bunch of good guys, trying to find your spots, especially against a team like Toronto,” Mitchell stated. “You don’t want to come in full bore, that’s how they want to turn you over. And then [Garland] goes down so I’m on the ball more, directing traffic.”

He had little bother sliding into the function he is crammed such a lot of instances over the primary 5 years of his occupation with the Utah Jazz, then again, as Mitchell produced up 18 of his issues and 5 of his assists after halftime.

“He’s an elite basketball player,” Bickerstaff stated. “There’s not many guys in this league that are better than Donovan or are capable of doing the things eh can do. He puts so much pressure on the defense, he has the ability to make all the passes, so again that’s, he’s hard to deal with but he makes defenses have to make tough decisions over and over again.”

Still, because the Raptors went on a 13-2 run overdue in the fourth quarter to erase a five-point Cleveland lead and pull forward for just right, Mitchell confirmed indicators of inexperience along with his teammates, together with a few miscommunications with All-Star middle Jarrett Allen.

As the 2 of them had been strolling to the rostrum, they had been breaking down what came about on a type of errors — a part of what Allen stated used to be a herbal rising procedure as new teammates all learn to play off one every other.

“It’s part of the game, part of the growing as teammates. It’s our first game playing together, our first official game playing together. We still have a lot of things to iron out, a lot of things to communicate about off the court after it happens.”

Despite the loss, the temper across the Cavaliers used to be certain, as they spent greater than part the sport enjoying with out Garland, and it used to be the primary time Mitchell had shared the courtroom with emerging celebrity large guy Evan Mobley.

And, Mitchell stated, it used to be a just right construction block for Cleveland to reinforce upon transferring ahead.

“I think we did a good job,” Mitchell stated, “but we can do an even better job, as a group.”

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