“I found the pleasure of playing again”

Author of an MVP-caliber start to the season, All-Star quarterback Donovan Mitchell has integrated perfectly into his new Cleveland team, and his performance last night (34 points against Orlando) is further proof of this. Just like his post-game statement.

When Donovan Mitchell was traded from Utah to Cleveland during the offseason, there were some questions about his connection with point guard Darius Garland, especially defensively. After the first quarter of the season, we can already say that the integration of Spida within this Cavs team that surprised so many people last season is successful.

Individually, the former Jazz star got dirty from day one, first without an injured Garland by putting up 30 points – 7 assists, then finding a nice balance alongside his new backcourt friend. Jointly? The Cavaliers take the long-awaited milestone after the arrival of Spida, winning 15 of 23 games (third in the Eastern Conference) while being the best defensive team in the NBA. In short, we have the banana in Cleveland, especially Mitchell.

“I’m not saying this against my Jazz guys, but I found the pleasure of playing again. This group has players who want to learn and get better. Sometimes all you need is a fresh start. I have succeeded well in integrating myself here because I fill a need. »

– Mitchell, via

Donovan’s arrival brings an extra dimension to a team that needed offensive support on the perimeter behind All-Star Darius Garland (7th in offensive efficiency today, 20th last year), and Mitchell has come back to life since leaving the Salt Mountains left Lake City. reach the edge of Lake Erie in Cleveland.

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we know that the Jazz team carried by the duo Donovan Mitchell – Rudy Gobert came at the end of the cycle after another premature elimination in the Playoffs. Spida struggled quite a bit for his lack of defensive involvement against the Mavericks in the first round, and the stats showing his poor offensive relationship with Rudy were constantly brought up. This double perception, Spida wanted to change it as soon as he arrived in Ohio and for the moment we can say that he closes a lot of mouths in his new jersey.

Behind Boston and Milwaukee, who are now big favorites in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland is quietly taking the podium and has a lot of ambitions. Not just this season, but especially in the years ahead. With Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley all 24 or younger, Mitchell just entering his prime, and that defensive solidity that has become part of the DNA of these post-LeBron Cavs, it all seems to be coming together. to soon compete with the best.


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