Donovan Mitchell Told Darius Garland ‘I Believe In You’ In A Cool Moment On The Bench In Game 7

The Cleveland Cavaliers will begin their Eastern Conference semifinals series on Tuesday night in Boston, as they will have to figure out how to handle the top-seeded Celtics coming off of a grueling 7-game series against Orlando.

However, that’s the challenge they’d prefer to have over having their offseason start early, and they’re in that position largely because of the effort of Donovan Mitchell. The star guard scored 89 points over Games 6 and 7 of the series and averaged 28.7 points across all seven games, even as he battles a lingering knee injury. While Mitchell put the team on his back in the third quarter of Game 7 to get them into the lead, he knew he’d need help to get across the finish line against a gritty Magic squad.

The 7-year veteran showed his leadership as the game got to the fourth quarter, pulling Darius Garland close amid a woeful shooting performance and trying to pump him up.

On Monday, the Cavaliers released a video from inside that scene on the bench with their two star guards, and the message from Mitchell was simple: I believe in you, believe in yourself.

Garland’s confidence was clearly a bit shaken in the game after an ice cold shooting spell, and he’s had some struggles in the second half of the year ever since returning from injury. That conversation paid off in the fourth quarter when Garland drilled the dagger three from the corner, and the first person waiting to celebrate the shot with him was Mitchell.

It’s a cool glimpse inside that moment with those two on the bench. Mitchell could tell his guy needed a pick-up, and rather than telling him “keep shooting” he made the message even simpler by making sure Garland knew his teammates hadn’t lost faith in him despite a rough shooting night. If the Cavs are going to have any chance against Boston, Garland’s going to have to be that All-Star caliber player he’s been in the past. To do that, he’ll need to get his swagger back as a shot-maker, and maybe this message from Mitchell and hitting some shots in the fourth quarter of Game 7 can get him going.