Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Donovan Mitchell was absent for his second consecutive game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday due to a right hamstring strain. Mitchell, who is in his second season with the Cavaliers, is a four-time All-Star and currently ranks eighth in the league in scoring, averaging 29.2 points per game. He is also tied for fifth in steals with an average of 2.0 per game.
The 27-year-old has been bothered by his right hamstring since the beginning of the regular season, resulting in him sitting out a total of three games. Mitchell's absence has been a significant blow to the Cavaliers' starting lineup, as they have only had their full starting lineup available for five games. Point guard Darius Garland and center Jarrett Allen have also missed five games each due to injuries.
With Mitchell out, Cleveland has relied heavily on their rookies and bench players. Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and reserve Georges Niang have been the only Cavaliers players to appear in all 12 games so far this season. Their contributions have been crucial in keeping the team competitive despite the injuries to key players.
On the other side, the Denver Nuggets have also been dealing with injuries. Shooting guard Jamal Murray has now missed six consecutive games due to a right hamstring strain. However, he is traveling with the team for their upcoming five-game road trip, suggesting that his return may be imminent.
Both teams have struggled to find consistency due to the absence of key players. However, they have managed to stay competitive and will look to overcome these challenges as the season progresses. Mitchell's return will be eagerly anticipated by the Cavaliers, as they rely on his scoring and defensive prowess to compete against tough opponents.
In the meantime, the Cavaliers and Nuggets will need to rely on their depth and the contributions of their younger players to fill the void left by their injured stars. These challenging circumstances will test the resilience and determination of both teams as they navigate through the grueling NBA season.