East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Nets, Celtics


Guard Donovan Mitchell indicated that after some initial surprise, playing in an actual preseason game with a new team was no big deal.

“One of those moments where you just look out and see everything and you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is really here,’” Mitchell said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Once you get out on the court, basketball is basketball. All the little things, it’s definitely weird, a little different, but everything’s going the way I thought it would in a good way. I think when you have teammates and coaches and people that are helping you behind the scenes and continuously with the little things that don’t have to do with basketball, it makes the game a lot easier.”

Mitchell’s debut alongside point guard Darius Garland came in the Cavs’ preseason opener at Philadelphia. The transition after spending his entire previous pro career with the Jazz did indeed appear seamless.

“I think we did a lot of things well,” Mitchell said, via Fedor. “You walk up the floor and it’s like, ‘He’s got it.’ But it’s not like, ‘He’s got it in isolation.’ It’s like, he’s got it, make a play, create. I said in the locker room, we really didn’t call a lot of plays in the first half and it just speaks to our ball movement, playing together and trusting each other. It looked better than I anticipated.”

  • The Cavs have moved Saturday’s Wine & Gold Scrimmage to 11 a.m. to avoid conflict with the Cleveland Guardians’ MLB playoff game. The scrimmage will be held at Cleveland State University. For more information, visit this link.


So far, the Nets’ acquisition of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving has yet to pay dividends, wrote John Hollinger of The Athletic

But with both back in the fold, and Ben Simmons finally joining them, perhaps this can be the season the Nets live up to all the hype.

“Durant’s revoked trade demand is an organizational reprieve, a chance to get things right while they still have one of the best players in the world on their side,” Hollinger wrote in his season preview. “Whatever other madness happened the last two years, Durant has remained beyond reproach on the floor.”

Given the fact the Nets still have much to prove, Hollinger predicted a fourth-place finish in the East.

There are no outcomes that would surprise me, but I’ll pick the one in the middle,” he wrote. “The Nets will be good and they’ll certainly be entertaining, but on balance, I’d take three other teams in the East ahead of them.”


Despite the drama involving coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics very well could still be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, wrote Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports.

“There is no team in the East to scare the Celtics that they have not already beaten,” Rohrbach wrote. “The Milwaukee Bucks, with a healthy Khris Middleton alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, will be an absolute bear once again. The Brooklyn Nets are as combustible a contender as there is in the league. The Miami Heat stepped back, and the Philadelphia 76ers stepped forward. Both should fall in line behind the Celtics at their absolute best.

“Then, who? The Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers or Atlanta Hawks? None of them have the playoff scars the Celtics earned from four conference finals appearances in six years to last year’s breakthrough.”

  • In case you missed it, most around the league seem to believe that Udoka has coached his final NBA game. At the very least, he is likely finished coaching the Celtics. We have the full post on that right here.

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  1. I wish they would have left the Wine and Gold scrimmage at 1. Nobody cares about the baseball team anymore anyway.

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