East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Knicks, Nets, Kevin Durant


Star guard Donovan Mitchell doesn’t think his jersey deserves to be retired by the Jazz, he told Marc J. Spears of Andscape.

“I don’t think I did enough,” Mitchell said, via Spears. “I hold myself to a high standard. Now, other people may feel that it should. I’d be happy and forever grateful, honored and blessed for sure for that to happen. But I don’t think I’ve done enough in five years to have my jersey up there with (Karl Malone), (John Stockton), (Pete Maravich) and Darrell Griffith. I got a long way in my career to go to continue to be better.”

Mitchell was one of four Jazz starters traded during the offseason, as was center Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves). Mitchell admitted that he and Gobert had their differences.

“We didn’t see eye to eye,” Mitchell said, via Spears. “We wanted to both win, but we wanted to do it two different ways. It didn’t work. But as far as him and I go as people, I don’t hate him, and he doesn’t hate me. I wouldn’t say we’re the best of friends, but we’re not at the point where it’s like, I can’t stand him.

“[When I see him], I’m going to give him a hug and be happy to see him. And I wish him the best. There’s no hatred. There’s no ill will towards any of that. Basketball just didn’t work out. It happens. Our [relationship] just happened to be a little more out there than anybody else’s.”


Coach Tom Thibodeau, not surprisingly, downplayed the Knicks’ seven-game winning streak following Sunday’s road victory over the Pacers.

“Win streaks don’t mean anything. This game won’t mean anything in our next game,” Thibodeau told reporters. “You’ve got to start all over, put the work in preparation and when the ball goes up, be ready to go.

“Obviously, it’s always better to win. But to think you’re going to win the next game because you have a win streak, if you start skipping over the steps to prepare for a game, then there’s going to be slippage and then you’re going to get knocked down. And I don’t want us to get knocked down. I want us to be ready for the next game.”

  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was considerably more impressed. “Right now, New York is as good as any team in the NBA,” Carlisle told reporters.
  • The Knicks have allowed the fewest points in the NBA since Dec. 4, per the Associated Press.


  • Kevin Durant currently has 26,437 points, passing John Havlicek (26,395) and Paul Pierce (26,397) in the first quarter of Sunday’s road win over the Pistons, per the AP.
  • Durant now sits 61 points behind Tim Duncan, something he most certainly will surpass by early next week, if not sooner.
  • The Nets have beaten the Pistons seven straight times. Durant scored 43 in the latest, and Kyrie Irving had 38. New York basketball has gotten its act together.

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