Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (left groin strain) is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s road game against the Houston Rockets.
In Cleveland’s 105-103 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday, the three-time All-Star reaggravated his groin strain. Before this matchup, he had missed the previous three games due to this injury.
On the last play of the game, Mitchell attempted a game-tying dunk, but his shot was blocked by Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein for the second half in the final minute. After grabbing the rebound and passing it to forward Evan Mobley, the sixth-year guard remained on the court.
According to a few NBA betting sites, the Cavaliers have ninth-best odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
“I went up to try & dunk it, both my legs cramped, & my groin tightened up & locked up on me, so 3 things happened at the same time”
— Donovan Mitchell on the last play of the game when he was stopped by Isaiah Hartenstein at the rim trying to tie it for the Cavs pic.twitter.com/Kzh3KcoskN
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) January 25, 2023
Following the loss, Mitchell said there were moments he felt he was playing through groin tightness and cramping in both legs. “I felt good enough to come back, and for that to be the last five seconds of the game really pisses me off,” said the Cavaliers guard.
“But I fumbled the game away for the group, and that’s on me. Poor execution on my part down the stretch. They drew up perfect plays, and I just didn’t execute them. It’s definitely both [frustration about the injury and his play]but more so [the injury]. I’m praying that I’m all right.”
Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (left groin strain) is listed questionable against Rockets for Thursday’s game
Mitchell ended his night with 24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals, and one block in 39 minutes of action. Plus, he finished 9-of-24 (37.5%) shooting from the field and 6-of-14 (42.9%) from 3-point range.
On Wednesday, Mitchell was absent from team activities. Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff is not classifying it as a groin injury. Bickerstaff prefers to call it “groin soreness.” Regardless of his diagnosis, the former Utah Jazz star could be ruled out for Thursday’s interconference mismatch.
Through 41 starts this season, the Cavs guard is averaging career highs of 28.3 points, 36.2 minutes, and 9.7 field goals per game. He’s also shooting career bests of 48.1% from the floor and 39.6% outside the arc.
#Cavs Donovan Mitchell did not do anything with the team today in New York. JB Bickerstaff said he was unsure about Mitchell’s status for tomorrow in Houston. Bickerstaff wouldn’t classify it as a groin injury but rather “groin soreness.”
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) January 25, 2023
Sportsbooks have not yet released the betting lines for Thursday’s game. However, the Rockets are 1-9 in their last 10 games, whereas the Cavaliers are 4-6 over the same stretch. Cleveland is 26-13 as a favorite, 9-15 away, and 29-20 overall. On the other side, Houston is 7-15 at home and 11-36 outright.
In Cleveland’s 145-134 win against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 2, Mitchell logged a career-high 71 points in 50 minutes played. The 26-year-old shot 22-of-34 (64.7%) from the field, knocked down seven 3s, and finished 20-of-25 (80%) at the foul line.
More importantly, Mitchell scored or assisted on 99 points, the second most in a single game in NBA history since Wilt Chamberlain (104). Earlier this season, the guard became the second Cavaliers player to record 500 points in his first 17 games of a season, joining LeBron James (2007-08).