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Why was the Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell given a random drug test by the NBA after his 71-point performance?

While we can agree that his 71-point hall was more than eye catching and we do understand random drug tests are performed all the time, was Mitchell’s test truly random?

Why was the Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell given a random drug test by the NBA after his 71-point performance?
Ken BlazeUSA TODAY Sports

The Cavs’ new boy put in a 71-point performance on Monday and it was apparently more than legendary, it was also seemingly suspicious. At least that’s how it looks, following the NBA’s decision to give him a random drug test.

Donovan Mitchell given PED test following 71-point game

On Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched an overtime win over the Chicago Bulls in dramatic fashion. Yet, the true showpiece of the night was new signing Donovan Mitchell and his 71-point outing. Yet, according to his Twitter account, that performance came with a cost. Indeed, Mitchell disclosed that he was subjected to a performance-enhancing drug test on Tuesday. The team itself also confirmed the fact. The curious thing here, is that while such ‘random’ tests are a normal part of the routine for players in the NBA, the fact that the test came just hours after Mitchell put up historic numbers, does raise an eyebrow. To his credit Mitchell took it in stride and was even able to see the humorous side of things.

To recap for the purpose of context, Mitchell spearheaded a Cavs comeback from a 21-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls in overtime. His 71-point night marked a franchise-record and was the most scored in a single game since the late and legendary Kobe Bryant drained 81 on the Toronto Raptors back in 2006. Where lists are concerned, Mitchell’s effort is the eighth-highest scoring game in NBA history and the most put up by any player this season. “It’s humbling. I’m speechless to be honest with you when you say that,” Mitchell said. “I think for me, not only did I do that but I did it in an effort where we came back and won. And it’s how we won. That’s really what, for me, it’s like man, this is nuts ... I’m extremely blessed, humbled that I’m in that company, in that group.”

Should Donovan Mitchell’s 71 points have been allowed?

Another interesting thing that has occurred since Monday’s game is the fact that the NBA said on Tuesday, declaring that Mitchell’s 71-point performance shouldn’t even have occurred. If you missed it, Mitchell sent the game into overtime, when he intentionally missed his free throw and then proceeded to tip it back in for two in the final seconds of the game. It was something to behold. On the other hand, the NBA claims has stated that Mitchell actually broke the line too early. In light of that, his basket shouldn’t have stood and the Bulls should have won. It was an issue that Bulls coach Billy Donovan most definitely raised post game.

“One, it’s a clear violation,” Donovan said. “Unequivocally, he’s crossing the line on the basket before the ball ever touches the rim. That’s the first thing...And he just shot it and really kind of beat Patrick. And I think part of the reason why he beat Patrick is because he went in there too early.” Ultimately, Mitchell went on to score 13 in overtime which took him to 71 and as they say, the rest is history.


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