On paper, the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA heading into the 2022-23 season.
They were one of the most annoying teams in the Eastern Conference last season, and now that Donovan Mitchell is in the mix, the Cavs have the potential to do some damage next season.
Mitchell’s accomplice in the Cleveland perimeter crime will be Darius Garland.
Last season, Garland made a statement by earning his first All-Star selection, and he’s beginning to emerge as one of the best point guards in all of basketball.
Mitchell, who projects as Cleveland’s starting shooting guard, should be a great fit alongside Garland, but Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff recently revealed he has an interesting plan in mind for when Mitchell and Garland aren’t together in court.
It looks like Mitchell will find himself playing point guard in certain situations.
#Cavs Head coach JB Bickerstaff shared with me that he plans to use Donovan Mitchell at point guard with some of his bench units when he wobbles Mitchell with Darius Garland.
— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) September 28, 2022
It sounds like Bickerstaff expects to have at least one Garland/Mitchell on the floor at all times, so there will be stretches during games when Mitchell is on the floor and Garland isn’t, and vice versa.
JB Bickerstaff plans to wow Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell: “The goal is to have one of them on the floor at all times. So we’ll find a way of our rotations, who gets the longest run, who gets the shortest run.” . , and then when rollback occurs.” #Cavs
—Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) September 27, 2022
This doesn’t necessarily mean Mitchell will be used as a point guard. each time he’s on the court without Garland, but it seems like he’ll play that role at times.
It is certainly an interesting strategy from Bickerstaff.
What to expect during Mitchell’s PG minutes
Mitchell played point guard at times during his time with the Utah Jazz, and he looked good doing it.
The 26-year-old has developed into a really solid playmaker in recent years, as he averaged 5.3 assists per game last season and 5.2 assists per game the season before.
Last season, Jazz writer Tony Jones took a look at what Mitchell brings to the table as a point guard, and he had a lot of good things to say.
“The leap he has made in the position, and the leap that is likely to fundamentally change the Utah Jazz for years to come, is Mitchell’s improvement in the brain parts of playing that position,” Jones wrote. “He recognizes covers better than ever. He’s making much better pick-and-roll reads. He has become a more willing passer, recognizing that setting up his teammates only serves to make him more dangerous from a scoring standpoint. He is acknowledging mismatches between his teammates better than ever.”
The bottom line is that good things happen when the ball is in Mitchell’s hands, and that’s great news for the Cavs.
A season full of promise
It’s no secret at this point, but the Cavs have a very high ceiling for the 2022-23 season.
Garland and Mitchell appear to be an explosive offensive duo on the perimeter for Cleveland, and up front, the Cavs have another talented duo in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
To sweeten the deal, the Cavs are a very deep team, and will be even deeper once Ricky Rubio returns from injury.
Even in an extremely tough Eastern Conference, this has the potential to be a special year for Cleveland.
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