Donovan Mitchell's Arrival In Cleveland Brings Cavaliers Needed Leadership

Donovan Mitchell's Arrival In Cleveland Brings Cavaliers Needed Leadership

Nick Pedone
4 months ago
2 min read
Cleveland Cavaliers' Donovan Mitchell holds the ball as time expires vs. Washington Wizards

If Donovan Mitchell keeps this up, he could be the second greatest Cleveland Cavalier of all-time.

Throughout Mitchell's first three games in Cleveland, he already has accumulated 100 points. 

When Darius Garland went down with a lacerated eye lid in their season-opener against the Toronto Raptors, it was easy to have flashbacks to last season, where the Cavs couldn't do anything offensively without Garland's scoring.  

Garland's injury hasn't held back the Cavs, as they are riding a two-game winning streak due to three consecutive 30-plus point performances from Mitchell.

On the court, Mitchell has hit the "over" in points scored on a nightly basis. Off the court, his leadership is already starting to be felt.

Mitchell described Cleveland's home opener as a playoff atmosphere. With chairman Dan Gilbert, Guardians manager Terry Francona and pitcher Triston McKenzie in attendance, Mitchell put up 37 points, multiple high-flying dunks, and was welcomed to Cleveland with loud MVP chants.

Exhausted after playing 45 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, Mitchell put the team on his back to secure a victory in overtime. That said, he still wasn't satisfied with that.

"I personally didn't like the second half of the game as a whole for me," Mitchell said. "The third quarter was okay, but the fourth quarter was an absolute disaster in my eyes."

Mitchell already understands how important he is to this organization. He understands that on some nights, against better opponents, there won't be an opportunity for overtime after blowing a lead in the fourth quarter. 

What was a magical night could've been a crushing defeat. And at just 26 years old, Mitchell realizes that.

Mitchell wasn't excited about etching his place in Cavalier record books with three consecutive thirty point games. He wasn't moved by improving to 2-1. There was no flaunting of the Junkyard Dawg Chain he was presented with postgame.

Instead, he apologized for allowing the fourth-quarter lead to slip away. That's what leaders do. That's accountability.

"Gives them belief," Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff said of Mitchell's impact. "It makes them feel like they can overcome the odds because they know he's there to carry them through adversity, take them through tough times." 

The Cavs will be back in action Wednesday night as they host the Orlando Magic, a game Mitchell should be able to have plenty of success in yet again. 

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