Donovan Mitchell of the Cavs in an elite company of the NBA
Donovan Mitchell got off to a terrific start to his playoff run in cleveland as he led all scorers in game one of the Cavs’ first-round series against the The New York Knicks, losing 38 points, albeit in a losing effort. Despite falling into an 0-1 hole and losing home field advantage, Mitchell managed to join an elite group of great players with his performance. Only six players have scored more than Mitchell’s 1,143 in the first 40 postseason games of his career.
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The company “spidamitchell” maintains its legendary status these days. Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Allen Iverson, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to score more points than Mitchell in their first 40 NBA playoff games. That’s quite an accomplishment for a player no one expected him to be as good as he has been coming out of Louisville.
Mitchell has been in the postseason every year of his career thus far. In his six appearances, he never averaged less than 21 points per game. During the Orlando bubble, Mitchell really burst, averaging 36.3 points per game in one series. Utah participated during the 2020 playoffs. The Jazz lost to the denver nuggets in seven games, but Mitchell did his part.
Eventually, Mitchell will need to add a longer postseason with similar numbers. But for a guy in his sixth year to be on this kind of list with those legendary names is quite an achievement.