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Will Donovan Mitchell miss his second straight game in Philadelphia Friday night?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing yet another game without their star guard, Donovan Mitchell, as they gear up to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Mitchell’s absence in the previous game against the Orlando Magic due to illness marks his 11th missed game of the season, creeping closer to the 17-game threshold for end-of-season awards like MVP eligibility. While there’s hope for Mitchell’s return against the Washington Wizards, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff is prioritizing player safety above all else.

In Mitchell’s absence, Isaac Okoro is expected to step into the starting lineup once more, as per sources familiar with the team’s plans. The Cavs are in the midst of a challenging schedule, with the upcoming game against the 76ers being part of a grueling five-game-in-seven-day stretch. With only 27 games remaining in the season, Mitchell will need to appear in at least 21 to maintain his eligibility for MVP consideration.

Despite Mitchell’s sidelined status, the Cavaliers have shown remarkable resilience, boasting a 6-4 record in games without him this season. Currently holding the second spot in the Eastern Conference with a 36-18 record, the Cavs have been on a hot streak, winning 10 of their last 12 games and 18 of their last 21 outings.

As the team navigates through Mitchell’s absence and the demanding schedule ahead, their focus remains on maintaining their competitive edge and securing victories in pursuit of their postseason aspirations. With Mitchell’s health being paramount, the Cavs are taking a cautious approach to his return, ensuring that he’s fully recovered before rejoining the lineup.

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