The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a bit of a rocky start to their season, which is due in part to a bit of bad luck with injuries. Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, and others have all missed a game or more.
For their standards, the Cavs aren’t doing very well. They are currently 3-5 and are outside of the playoffs right now. Yes, the season did just start, but there are still some things that are worrisome for the squad.
One thing that has remained consistent is the superb play of Donovan Mitchell. Even though the Cavs have been an unsuccessful team, Mitchell has been outstanding. As an All-NBA second-teamer last year, everyone knew how talented he was. This was the first time he was on an All-NBA team in his career, as well as the first time he was an All-Star starter.
With him just recently turning 27 years old in September, there wasn’t much belief that he had a lot of progression left. But those beliefs were incorrect, as he has quickly had the best start to any season in his career.
Heading into Wednesday night’s games Mitchell was first in the NBA in points per game, averaging 32.5 points a night. His Player Efficiency Rating is also a career high by a wide margin at a 27.8 rating, which is the third-best in the league, only behind two MVP players in Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
With his incredible stats and the fact that he has quite literally carried the Cavs team a lot this season, there have been rumblings of him being in MVP conversations. This would be the first time he would ever be a strong candidate for that award if he were to be a finalist.
Donovan Mitchell is having an MVP-caliber season, no doubt. It’s not every day that a 6’1″ guard can shoot over 80 percent from shots around the rim. He has been a tremendous finisher and has been an excellent shooter, as well. His 40.4 percent from deep heading into Wednesday’s game is a career high, and the first time he has ever eclipsed 40 percent for a season.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers can get back on track and be one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, then Donovan Mitchell can sneak his name into the MVP conversations. If he can be rumored to be an MVP candidate even when the Cavs are not a top seed, then he surely would be higher on the list if he has the same statistical output added with team success.
Whether Donovan Mitchell wins the MVP award or not, he’ll probably have the best year of his career this season if he continues to play this way. The Cleveland Cavaliers are lucky to have a player of his caliber on the team.