Donovan Mitchell injury: Cavaliers star ruled out for Game 4 vs. Celtics with

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without star guard Donovan Mitchell for Game 4 of their second-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Monday night due to a calf strain. Mitchell joins big man Jarrett Allen on the injured list for the Cavaliers, who are now without their top-two scorers in the playoffs.

Caris LeVert will move into the starting lineup for Game 4, and the Cavaliers will need a big game from him in the scoring department to have any chance of pulling off an upset win to even the series. The responsibility will not fall squarely on his shoulders, however.

“Everybody’s gonna have to tick up a little bit,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Not one person, obviously, is gonna replace what Donovan does for us. Everybody’s gotta tick up whatever their strength is, whatever their skillset is, they gotta go out and be the most confident version of their selves tonight.”

Mitchell has been carrying the Cavaliers on the offensive end during the playoffs. Through the team’s first 10 games, he was averaging 29.6 points and 4.7 assists per game, and had scored 30.3% of the their total points in the postseason. Allen, who hasn’t played since Game 4 of the first round, was the only other player putting up at least 15 points per game.

Even with Mitchell playing well, the Cavaliers have only reached 100 points three times in the playoffs, one of which was their surprise Game 2 win against the Celtics in which they shot 54.7% from the field and made 13 3-pointers. Without Mitchell to drive the offense, it’s unlikely that they’ll have enough firepower to keep up with the Celtics’ elite offense. Firing up as many 3s as possible and hoping for a hot shooting night seems like the best option.

If the Cavaliers can protect homecourt, they would even the series at 2-2 and ensure that it goes at least six games, which may give Mitchell and Allen time to return. Should the Celtics win, however, they would take a commanding 3-1 lead that would be difficult for the Cavaliers to overcome even if they were healthy.

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