At Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs can already see that they have more than just a scorer. They have a leader

Cleveland – AS Cleveland Cavaliers Head coach JB Bickerstaff pulled the Junkyard Dog Chain out of her bag, turned around and started saying, ‘We should give these 44 minutes, 37 points, and take out two straights,’ but applause ensued in the Cavs’ locker room. Bickerstaff walked towards Donovan MitchellThe Junkyard Dog Chain locker was placed around his neck.

Mitchell went to his post-match press conference wearing a Junkyard Dog Chain around his neck. His face lit up as he started talking about receiving the award.

“It meant a lot,” Mitchell said of winning the series. “The guys in the locker room, when I saw RoLo get it the last time, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s so dope. “For me, it just feels like I’m part of the group. They’ve accepted me from day one. I just go in there and constantly find my way, whether it’s offensive or defensive. And then to get that, ‘It’s cool.'”

In his first three Cleveland games, Mitchell made a bid on both ends of the floor. He has shown how he can facilitate and create shots on the offensive end. Bickerstaff noticed through boot camp, pre-season and the first three games of the season how much Mitchell can be a floor worker. He watches how Mitchell talks to his colleagues and tries to put them in the right places. Bickerstaff notes how Mitchell also reads the defenses and gives the men suggestions on the ground about what to do.

Defensively, he competes in shots, deflects, steals, and captures rebounds. He stands in front of his leg and applies pressure defensively.

In front of a raucous crowd from Cleveland, Mitchell made his home debut Sunday night at the opening of the Cavs House, a performance filled with exciting and other moments that raised eyebrows. Mitchell demonstrated his attacking presence as a top scorer, from running in the dives to fast picks to hitting Buzzer 3 at the end of the third quarter. He finished with 37 points, four assists, five rebounds, three steals and six turnovers, leading the Cavs to a 117-107 overtime win over the Washington Wizards.

“When we went out, it ran out…First of all, it looked like a playoff,” Mitchell said. And then we had the intro; that was crazy. There were only clips throughout the game where I found myself smiling a few times. I try to lock up, but I look around like ‘holy shit’. Electric crowd. I heard about it. I played here, But I don’t think I’ve heard it before. In fact, I came to a final in ’16, and that’s when I heard it like that. But to be on this side of it and hear the crowd grumble, it’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable to be Part of that. Like I said there are at least 41 of those and they keep going from there once you get to the playoffs, and I’m excited.”

In the early days of the season, Mitchell showed consistency in his game and consistently demonstrated that he was exactly the man the Cavs traded as a few weeks ago.

Mitchell now holds a three-game franchise record of over 30 points to start the season. He was also the first Cavs player to open a season with consecutive games in excess of 30 points. His 100 points total over the first three games is the most ever by a Cavs player in the first three games of the season. Austin Carr previously held this title with 90 points in 1974-75.

It also breaks records outside the Cavs franchise. Mitchell is the third player in NBA history to score more than 30 points in each of his first three games with distinction, according to Elias Sports. Mitchell sitting behind Wilt Chamberlain with Philadelphia – Eight straight games in 1959-60 – and Glenn Robinson with Atlanta Three consecutive matches in 2002-03.

“Just determination to help the team win,” Bickerstaff said. “The ability to pick his spots, and take control of the game when he needs to. Leadership, you know what I mean, the desire to carry his teammates with him, the way he hugs his teammates. He’s wanted 37, right? It’s not the empty 30s you see.” From him. We need every single one of them.”

(Ken Blaise/USA Today Sports)

But in the midst of his success — and that of Cleveland — Mitchell felt the need to apologise.

There were untimely errors that proved costly. Two of Mitchell’s six turnovers came in the final 40 seconds of the fourth quarter, allowing the Wizards to tie the match at 103 and send it into overtime. Mitchell also suffered six missed attempts in the last eight minutes of the match. Bickerstaff surprised the transitions a bit because he knows how safe Mitchell is, and how dynamic he is when the ball is in his hands. Bickerstaff said he and Mitchell have to have more conversations to ensure he gets the much-needed rest in the game and that he managed Mitchell for extended periods throughout Sunday.

Mitchell apologized not only to the fans who were still in the arena after the match but also to his teammates and to his post-match interview. Admit these mistakes.

“Personally, I didn’t like the second half of the game as a whole for me,” said Mitchell. “The third quarter was good, but the fourth quarter was an absolute disaster for me. This is where I should be better. In the end, JB looked at me and was like, ‘Let’s go,’ like overtime. When you have that confidence, you go to There and you forget everything that happens, you go there and play.

“Those last three possessions—the turnover, the turnover, and the three missing properties—we should have been home an hour ago,” Mitchell later said. “That’s where my head really is. We’re going to win, but I promise you for the next day and a half, all I’m going to think about is finding ways to carry out the late game and be the best for my team, I didn’t think about that. I missed five, six in a row… and I flipped The ball. I knew I wasn’t my best, but my teammates (cooled me) kept me up.”

Guys realized that Mitchell had these mistakes right now and after the match as well.

“That’s how it is” Garrett Allen He said. “He wants to do everything right to the best of his ability. Even when he does things right, he still feels like he’s doing things wrong. He shows humility. He wants everyone, not to accept him, but to make sure he’s doing the thing.” the correct “.

Mitchell also took the game’s final shot, firing a 26-foot-back 3 step that would have given the Cavs the lead by the time the time was up. But the shot was long and didn’t go in, which increased the match’s overtime.

Mitchell said this shot is one of his favorites, though, whether he takes it as a 2 or 3. He especially loves that shot when he’s going in the right direction because Mitchell is a downhill driver, so he can create the necessary space. It works more than ever to jump a step back. He felt like he was about to get in, but was happy in the end because it had gone so long instead of being short.

“If I had missed it short, I would have been very upset because it meant I was tired, and I didn’t put my legs through it,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was good, and I got a move I wanted to make. In the end it didn’t happen, but I would come back again if I was open and kept trusting him.”

When Mitchell stood at the free-throw line 31.5 seconds into overtime, fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse began chanting MVP. best player. best player. He heard those cheers, of course, and appreciated them even if he knew he hadn’t earned them yet.

“I appreciate it very much, but I have a lot of work to do to get there,” Mitchell said. “But I only appreciate love so much. Like I said, since day one, since I got off the plane and didn’t stop. I am honored and blessed to be in this position. As I said, I am doing my part only with the confidence of my teammates, and my coach. I just go out there and do what I can and then when the DG comes back, he continues that and takes it to another level.”

Then, when Mitchell stood on the field after the match, he gave a post-match television interview, Darius Garland He ran over, yelled, “Yes,” and hugged Mitchell before walking off the field. Soon, Allen came after Mitchell and threw a water bottle over his head in celebration.

In just three games, Mitchell’s role has changed little. While he started the inaugural season alongside Garland in the backcourt, Garland’s injury has kept him in the eye in the last two games. The Cavs wanted to confuse Mitchell and Garland to keep one on the ground at all times, but for now, Mitchell had to step up to lead the Cavs into the point guard, facilitating and creating in the offensive end.

Bickerstaff notes how Mitchell is much more than just a scorer.

“When you’re out looking inside, and time at Utah, he’s always playing with another headguard, so to speak, but he has base instincts with the ability to score the ball at an elite level,” Bickerstaff said. . “He knows how to play the game. You watch little things like the passes he makes for his teammates where the passes have to be. You rarely see a guy having to reach for his hands or turn his hands upside down when Donovan makes these plays. I liked him, to be Honest with you. A lot of scorers, that’s exactly what they are. But Donovan is a playmaker, scoring is the right playing at the time, and he’s capable of making those plays.”

Within a few weeks, the Cleveland Club rallied behind Mitchell. He was surrounded by Cleveland culture and had already established his voice as a leader.

“He’s just a good guy,” Allen said. “That’s what it boils down to. It’s easy to talk to; he doesn’t brag about his accomplishments, he’s one of the toughest workers in every match in the gym. It’s easy to get on with a guy like that and it’s easy to follow someone’s lead like that.”

(Top photo: Ken Blaise/USA TODAY Sports)

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