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Will Donovan Mitchell Play Tonight? Latest Update on the Cavs Star Ahead of Suns Clash

Published 04/03/2024, 12:01 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Cleveland Cavaliers fans eagerly waited for Donovan Mitchell‘s return to Salt Lake City to face his former team, the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. However, as the 3rd-seeded Cavaliers extended their lead to 45-29 with a 129-113 victory over Jazz, the shooting guard remained ruled out of the game because of his knee injury.

Now, with playoffs in the picture, the Cleveland Cavaliers are once again on the road, ready to face the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center whom they lost to in the previous clash 117-111. But the question still remains about Mitchell’s availability for the game.

Knee Injury Troubles Donovan Mitchell

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Since February, Mitchell has been dealing with a bone bruise in his knee. The instance has kept the All-Star guard off the court for 25 games, marking the longest absence of his career. While the official update for his next appearance is yet awaited, Mitchell is likely to play a few minutes considering the Cavaliers reined cautious over their star player in their first back-to-back set; saving him for the nationally-televised Suns’ clash. Couple that with good progress on recovery and the shooting guard’s return chances look favorable; both for the player and the team.

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The Cavaliers have felt Mitchell’s absence rather adversely. The 27-year-old has been their leading scorer this season averaging 26.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. Without him, the Cavs have recorded 12-13, often facing challenges in close games. Mitchell’s ability to create chances and score has been a valuable asset. In the void of which, players like Darius Garland and Caris LeVert have stepped up, helping the Cavaliers to test their bench.

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Predicted Lineups: Cavaliers vs Suns

Currently seeded third, the Cavaliers have struggled recently, triumphing over only 4 of their last 10 games. The instance, thus, has the New York Knicks (44-31) and the Orlando Magic (44-31) breathing right down their necks in a tight run. With an away record of 22-16 and averaging 112.8 points per game the roster will look to build on the momentum. And helping them on the goal could be, Caris LeVert, Jarret Allen, Evan Mobley, Max Strus, Sam Merrill.

As for the Suns, the team currently holds 8th position in the Western Conference, having won 6 games out of their last 10 games. The Suns boast a very strong offense this season. They have recorded an average of 116.8 points per match which is 10th overall in the league and have conceded points at an average of 114.1 per match. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, and Jusuf Nurkić, make the predicted lineup for Wednesday’s showdown.

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The game will be the second and last time the two teams go against each other and each second will prove crucial. A win could likely push the team towards top-six playoff safety and they will need their star player. However, the decision on Mitchell’s participation against the Suns will ultimately depend on the severity of his injury and his progress in recovery. Whether Mitchell plays or not Cavaliers will need to step up against in form Suns. The matchup will be interesting to look out for.

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Written by:

Dhanraj Majithia

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Dhanraj is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Fueled by the legendary Kobe Bryant's Mamba Mentality, Dhanraj weaves his passion for the game with in-depth analysis, sharpened by his experience as a state-level shooting guard. His are of expertise lies in breaking down trade reports and their implications for fans.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi