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Donovan Mitchell Makes a Comeback Against the Wizards After Sitting Out 76ers Game


Looks like Donovan Mitchell is returning to action soon…

Without Donovan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers, 104-97. Now, the Cavs continue their road trip, this time against the Washington Wizards.

The Cavs will be without Emoni Bates (NBA G League assignment), Ty Jerome (ankle), Isaiah Mobley (NBA G League assignment), Pete Nance (NBA G League assignment), and Tristan Thompson (suspension) against the Sixers, but that was to be expected.

Bates, Mobley and Nance being unavailable shouldn’t come as a surprise since all three aren’t normal members of Cleveland’s rotation most nights and need to take advantage of the on-court reps available to them with the Cleveland Charge, the NBA G League affiliate of the Cavs. Jerome, meanwhile, had surgery on a nagging ankle injury in late January, with no sign of return, while Thompson is currently serving game 15 of a 25-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. So the end is in sight for Cleveland to get back their veteran big man providing support from the sideline.

Instead, what’s a massive relief is the availability of Donovan Mitchell, who is considered likely to suit up for the Cavs while dealing with an ongoing, non-COVID-related illness.

Donovan Mitchell’s Cavs injury status

Mitchell was a game-time decision with the same ailment leading up to Cleveland’s eventual loss to Philadelphia; however, he was ruled out an hour before tip-off. With him listed as probable against the Wizards and likely to play, the Cavs won’t struggle on offense and will begin to execute what has become their new norm on offense, taking and making as many 3-pointers as possible.

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Usually, Mitchell will tweet Cleveland’s hashtag #LetEmKnow soon before tipoff. So, keep your eyes open on social media to lock in whether or not Mitchell is playing. If he ends up missing the game, then Isaac Okoro will start in his place and Mitchell’s minutes will be distributed between Okoro, Max Strus, Caris LeVert and Sam Merrill.

Darius Garland, who has been trying to find his footing after returning from injury, would also be expected to step up to counterbalance the lack of Mitchell’s scoring edge.

Although the Wizards are a far less daunting challenge when compared to the 76ers without Joel Embiid, having no Mitchell could spell disaster for Cleveland considering the Cavs are only 6-5 without the All-Star guard this season.  Perhaps the Cavs turn to different guards on their depth chart and see if they can beat a Wizards team that’s only lacking Isaiah Livers, who is dealing with capsule inflammation in his right hip. The only other player that’s uncertain for the Wizards is forward Deni Avdija, who is dealing with a left heel contusion.

Cleveland has to lock in and bounce back from a frustrating loss to Philadelphia and maintain their grip on second place in the Eastern Conference against Washington. Sure, the Wizards are several games back of the Cavs in the bowels of the Eastern Conference. But, the Milwaukee Bucks are only one game back from Cleveland for second place and a loss to Washington would only make things tighter in a hyper-competitive Eastern Conference and a massive blow to morale for a Cavs team that has struggled coming out of the All-Star Break.

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About the Author

Evan Dammarell is an award-winning sports journalist covering all things Cleveland, including the Cavs, right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.


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