On Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell told ESPN’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude in an interview that he should have been selected to the All-NBA First Team. Instead, the four-time All-Star was named to the second team last month.
It was his first All-NBA honor of his six-year career. On the second team, Mitchell joined Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Heat’s Jimmy Butler, Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, and Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic.
Mavericks’ Luka Doncic was selected to the first team, along with OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, and 76ers’ Joel Embiid.
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Nuggets are the favorite to win the 2023 NBA Finals over the Heat. Some sportsbooks are giving Jokic, the MVP runner-up, the best odds to win Finals MVP.
“I just felt that I should have been [All-NBA] First Team,” said the Cavaliers star. “So that’s one of my goals for next year, to be First Team. And I felt like I was good enough, but obviously the media members did not.”
In 68 starts of the regular season, Donovan Mitchell averaged career highs of 28.3 points, 10 field goals, and 35.8 minutes per game. Along with logging 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, the former Jazz guard shot career bests of 48.4% from the field and 86.7% at the foul line.
Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell believes he should have been selected to the All-NBA First Team
In Cleveland’s 145-134 win over the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 2, the guard scored a career-high 71 points in 50 minutes of action. While shooting 22-of-34 (64.7%) from the floor, 7-of-15 (46.7%) beyond the arc, and 20-of-25 (80%) at the free throw line, he also tallied eight boards and 11 assists.
Additionally, Mitchell scored or assisted on 99 points, the second-most in NBA history since Wilt Chamberlain (104). That was Chamberlain’s 100-point performance against the Knicks on March 2, 1962.
It was the best offensive outing by a player under 6-foot-5 in the history of the league. Chamberlain was 7-foot-1 when he played. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was 6-foot-6 as well.
Moreover, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Raptors on January 22, 2006.
“Next season’s success — or lack thereof — could play a factor in Donovan Mitchell’s long-term future with the Cavs.”@kelseyyrusso reflects on Mitchell’s first year in Cleveland before looking ahead ⤵️https://t.co/sdQs5Z0BUD
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) May 31, 2023
Furthermore, Mitchell finished eighth in points (1,922), 13th in steals (99), and eighth in field goals (679). Not to mention, he placed fourth in 3-pointers (245), ninth in value over replacement player (5.0), and 10th in usage percentage (32.1%). And he ranked seventh in All-NBA voting shares (0.698).
Should the Cavaliers guard have been selected to the All-NBA First Team? It would be difficult to make an argument for Mitchell against Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander, Tatum, Antetokounmpo, or Embiid. All five players were worthy.