the Cleveland Cavaliers She had a complicated history with the stars. Michael Jordan was the star who stood in the way of the late ’80s and early ’90s bands. Mark Price, Brad Dougherty, and company weren’t talented enough to take on the superstars.
Then LeBron James came in, left and came back before leaving again. He had his best seasons with the team, but the constant specter of what he would do in the future overshadowed the partnership.
The Cavs had three first overall picks during James’ exile, but for a variety of reasons, none of those players became the man the city hoped they would be on draft night.
Koby Altman’s biggest success with the recent rebuild has been finding pieces that fit together and can become greater than the sum of their parts, but there’s a chance none of these high picks will become stars. This is why Donovan Mitchell’s trading was essential.
Mitchell continues to routineize the impossible look in a way that no other rider outside of LeBron has.
Mitchell notched his third CAF 40-point performance in just his 26th game. This is a feat Only James and Kyrie Irving have done it in the entire history of the franchise.
This statistic puts into perspective what an amazing season Mitchell is having. He now averages 29.7 points on .506 / .436 / .897 shooting while leading his team to victories. Mitchell is currently scoring a The utilization rate is 31.6 It is the second highest among guards at average Third highest point per shot attempt (1.3). This combination is unheard of. All the while, he’s putting together what might be the best defensive season of his career.
During his short time in Cleveland, we’ve already seen him beat the defending conference champions in overtime twice, beat Luka Doncic on his home turf, sweep LeBron while telling his team to go home, and most recently score as many points as the Indiana Pacers He did in the final quarter for a comeback victory. These are things the stars do over and over again throughout the season.
He did so while also leading Cleveland to a 20-11 record putting them on pace for 52 wins. If they were to hit it, it would be only the fourth time in franchise history that they’ve hit 50-plus wins without James.
The Cavs are also currently ranked No. 3 in the East. If true, this would be only the sixth time Cleveland has finished in the top three in the conference without James.
The NBA was and always will be run by the stars. It is the league of the haves and the have-nots. You can build good teams without the guy, but it’s impossible to build a champion. This is why there will always be reincarnations in 2015 Atlanta Hawks and none for 2004 Detroit Pistons.
Mitchell probably won’t be the best player in the league or even in that conversation. But he has He. She The factor you need from your best player to hit that promise land. He showed it with Utah Jazz in the playoffs, and shows it again and again on a team he seems to fit in better.
You can’t judge blockbusters like the one that brought Mitchell to Cleveland after just three months. But, it’s hard to imagine a better result for Koby Altman and the Cavs at this point.
The Cavs finally have their star for this era. It was worth the wait.