East Notes: Cavs, Donovan Mitchell, Sixers, Raptors


Star guard Donovan Mitchell made his first two shots, but then went just 1-of-10 the rest of the way, in Sunday’s blowout road loss to the Nuggets.Donovan Mitchell, Cavs, NBA

Mitchell may still be laboring from the knee issue that’s kept him out and limited his explosiveness. He, of course, is also wearing a protective mask as a result of a nasal fracture.

“He wants to play and he wants to be out there with his teammates,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters. “He wants to compete, to try and help us be in the best position moving forward, but if you take time off it’s going to take some time to find your rhythm again.”

  • Mitchell received little help, as backcourt-mate Darius Garland scored just five points on 2-of-8 shooting. One NBA scout told Hoops Wire he believes this is Garland’s worst season since his rookie year. “I’m sure that broken jaw plays a role, but he hasn’t been right most of the year,” the scout said.
  • Mitchell did go off a little after the loss. Like everyone else, he’s frustrated. That said, the Cavs remain in third place in the East. But they know they can’t go into the postseason playing like they’ve been lately.


Kelly Oubre‘s season-high 32 points kept Sixers coach Nick Nurse unbeaten against the Raptors, his former team that has now lost 13 straight.

Cameron Payne added 14 of his 24 points to help the Sixers overcome the loss of star guard Tyrese Maxey.

“Kelly was amazing, Cam was amazing,” said guard Kyle Lowry, who added 11 points and 10 assists. “We all stepped up for Tyrese, because he’s an irreplaceable guy.”

  • The Sixers are 3-0 this season and 7-1 all-time when connecting on 20 or more 3-pointers.
  • It appears that star center Joel Embiid will return this week. Just in time for the playoffs, too. Our Ashish Mathur has the full story here.


  • Entering Monday, the Raptors have not led since early in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Nets on March 25. They’ve lost 13 straight overall.
  • Along with that, the injury-riddled Raptors are 1-14 against the Atlantic Division, with one still to go, April 10 at the Nets. Toronto has lost seven in a row at home.
  • Coach Darko Rajakovic to reporters: “It’s tough but that’s the reality of where we’re at. We’ve just got to adjust and roll with it.”

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