The Cleveland Cavaliers' season has been topsy-turvy because of injuries, the most recent one impacting Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell, who has been dealing with a bothersome knee injury and fractured nose, has been sidelined for the better part of Cleveland's schedule after the All-Star break. In only 10 appearances during that stretch, Mitchell hasn't looked like his normal self on the floor, averaging 18.1 points on 39.6% shooting along with 3.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists, all lows across the board.

But like most things in life, context is necessary to understand what's been holding Mitchell back.

Diving into Donovan Mitchell's condition

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after hitting a three point basket during the second half as Memphis Grizzlies forward Timmy Allen (0) looks on at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Because of his knee and mask for his fractured nose, Mitchell was unable to give maximum effort on the floor. But in Wednesday's 110-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, where Mitchell forgot to wear his mask, everything started to click again.

“To be honest with you, I forgot it,” Mitchell told ClutchPoints of his mask. “And then once I got to we got to starting the game and I was like, ‘You know what? It's good. F*ck it. Let's go.

“And of course, I get the and-one at the end of the first quarter and I get hit in the nose. And that's when I really remembered I didn't have it on. But that was a part of it. It's been an interesting second half of the season for me, you know what I mean?”

Mask or no mask, Mitchell looked more like himself compared to how his post-All-Star break numbers paint the picture. He was at the center of it all in Cleveland's turnaround win, finishing the game with 29 points, four rebounds and eight assists in 33 minutes of action. With how the second half of the season has gone for the Cavs and Mitchell, it's a welcome sign and, more importantly, another step in him regaining his status as one of the Eastern Conference's best players.

“He makes it easier for all of us,” Jarrett Allen said of Mitchell. “I know we can talk about his points, he always scores a lot of points. But when he had eight assists tonight, it was just getting everybody else the ball and keeping the offense moving. It just got everybody involved and made it easier.”

To Allen's credit, Mitchell has been involved on every level offensively for the Cavs, not just with his scoring. His playmaking responsibilities have evolved a ton for Cleveland, especially with Darius Garland dealing with injuries. While the current nagging knee injury might keep him from being 100% every night, everything Mitchell put together against the Grizzlies is a step in the right direction for the Cavs.

“There's no doubt that he'll get there,” J.B. Bickerstaff said of Mitchell getting back to his peak. “And we've got three games and almost 14 days so he's got an opportunity to do some really good work on his body on the court.

“We know who Donovan is and what he's capable of and he just needs the opportunities. He understands the moment and he knows what this team needs. Typically, that's what Donovan does when games are bigger and the scenes are bigger. Donovan leads by example.”

Mitchell riding momentum into the postseason could be lethal for a Cavs team that will only go as far as he can carry them. When asked if he'll be 100% ready physically come postseason time, Mitchell gave a firm albeit simple yes. With that confidence and momentum on his side, Cleveland might be gearing up for a deep playoff run at the very last minute.