Was the Cavs’ ‘random’ PED check simply fateful coincidence after Mitchell scored 71?

Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points on Monday, which is a lot.

Donovan Mitchell scored 71 factors on Monday, which is lots.
Picture: Getty Photographs

In one of many NBA’s extra conspicuously timed sequences, the Cleveland Cavs had been “randomly” drug examined simply hours after Donovan Mitchell’s 71-point performance Monday evening. It feels all too handy for the affiliation to “randomly” check the Cavs for performance-enhancing medicine at some point after Mitchell scored probably the most factors in a recreation since Kobe Bryant’s 81-point output in 2006.

We see so many particular person high-scoring totals within the NBA usually, but this time a staff is “randomly” examined for PEDs. You’d be silly to not surprise in regards to the validity of this spherical of testing following Mitchell’s recreation of his profession. It’s not like he’s been a participant barely scraping by within the league for 5 years, then abruptly, BAM! Out of nowhere, he scores extra factors in a single recreation than Michael Jordan or LeBron James have ever achieved. Spida isn’t a kind of guys, however he’s been one of many higher younger stars on this league since he entered in ‘17.

Setting a brand new precedent

Saying this particular testing was random will solely lead folks to surprise how “random” these assessments are, to start with. Luka Dončić scored 60 factors a couple of days earlier than Spida’s career-high, and there was no information of random testing for the Mavs the following day. Dončić is held in greater regard across the NBA and by followers, however details are details.

Final March, we noticed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving drop back-to-back 50-point gems. Irving scored 60 in his outing towards Orlando and had one other 50-point recreation one week earlier. No random testing was reported after these video games, and definitely not after the duo’s back-to-back masterpieces. To not say the league is concentrating on anybody, however the timing right here is bizarre sufficient to be questioned.

Tainted by testing

Mitchell’s superb recreation is now tainted, even when solely a little bit, as a result of testing that adopted. Most of us don’t assume he’s utilizing banned substances, however there’s all the time that doubt that creeps in at any time when we hear the phrase PEDs in relation to skilled athletes. This isn’t as prevalent in basketball as in baseball or soccer, but it surely’s undoubtedly a set off for many at any time when the acronym is uttered.

When talking of PED use, basketball gamers are the final to enter the dialog about athletes and banned substances. However the NBA has had its share of gamers check constructive for medicine on their PED checklist. Rashard Lewis is the identify many bear in mind as he was popped in ‘09, lacking 10 video games. In 2019 Deandre Ayton, John Collins, and Wilson Chandler had been suspended for violating the NBA’s PED coverage. Whether or not they had been taken on goal or claimed to have been unintentional, they had been caught and suspended.

So, whereas there is a matter with substance abuse within the NBA at instances and in society at massive, the timing of Mitchell’s testing is simply too peculiar. Hopefully, there may be nothing there with Spida or any of his teammates that would derail their nice season. The Cavs are at present sitting in fourth place, only a couple video games out of first place in a loaded japanese convention.