Tag Archives: Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell IS the Rookie of the Year

I developed a fondness for Donovan Mitchell when he came out of the draft as the 13th pick. He knew his stock was worth a much higher pick, but he used that frustration to show teams how wrong they were for passing him up. One thing’s for sure: the Jazz are happy and I don’t think they’ll be giving him up any time soon.

Mitchell Proving Them Wrong

When I was writing for Boston Sports Extra a few months back, I wrote an article about Jayson Tatum possibly being up for the award. But he has since hit his rookie wall and is now working his way back to early season form. Donovan Mitchell however, had his struggles early and has since been on fire:

  • He averages just about 20 pts, 4 reb, and 4 ast this season
  • Shoots 84% FT, 44% FG, 35% 3PT FG
  • He’s recorded two 40+ point games
  • He led his team on a 10 game winning streak, which included wins against TOR, GS, SA (2x) and NO
  • He won the Dunk Contest at All Star Weekend

This kid makes too much of a difference for this Utah team not to take notice. Gobert has been off the court

d mitch clutchpoints

most of the season dealing with injuries and Rubio has been inconsistent at PG. He does well on assists at roughly 5 per game, but is only averaging 12 pts this season. All I’m saying is it would be hard to compensate for those 20 points that Mitchell provides should he sit out.

Possible Playoff Push?

The Jazz currently sit 10th, just two spots out of the playoff race. The Clippers sit in front of them at 9th and the Nuggets hold the 8th spot. But I think the Jazz may have a shot considering how fast the standings have changed in the West lately. If Denver, OKC and Minnesota can’t hold on down the stretch, the Jazz just may have a chance. Plus, their schedule looks pretty manageable, with a few tough teams throughout—all which they’ve beaten at least once before.

Level-Headed Leader

Donovan Mitchell’s ability to carry this team while consistently being a difference-maker speaks to his maturity. For most rookies, it’s hard to come in with that chip on your shoulder, hoping to live up to the expectations others have put in place for you. However, Mitchell’s situation is quite different in that he is the one who set his own expectations. While everyone was focused on Fultz and Ball, he showed them all that hype isn’t everything.

Continue that push for the playoffs Mitchell. Nothing is impossible!

d mitch salt lake tribune

13 Degrees of Separation

There are a number of rookies around the league this year trying to make their presence felt. You’ve got Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers, Ben Simmons of the 76ers (but is he really a rookie? It’s technically his second year), Jayson Tatum of the Celtics, De’Aaron Fox of the Kings; the list goes on. But in Utah, the underestimated rookie Donovan Mitchell is quietly working to prove his worth. The 13th overall 2017 draft pick from Louisville is averaging 11.6 points, 2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game and had himself a night to remember against  Lillard and the Trail Blazers. Mitchell scored 28 points, had 6 rebounds, 3 assists and shot 40% from three-point range. Oh, and he did all of this coming off the bench.

Donovan Mitchell came out of Louisville, having played in 65 games (starting in 38) and averaged 11.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Though, it was his sophomore year is what got him noticed: averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and shot 80.6% from the free throw line. All of this along with his aggressive playing style, how could anyone pass on this kid? He wasn’t afraid to drive to the rack and finish strong; and on the defensive side of the ball: he had 70 steals his sophomore year. That’s pretty impressive, so you could understand why he wasn’t happy he fell to 13th overall. But he was able to channel his frustrations into the Summer League, where he averaged 24 points (44% shooting), 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.7 steals in five games. In one of those games, he had 37 points and an impressive 8 steals.*  

 There has been inconsistencies in his NBA performance so far, but this is to be expected of a rookie who only had one solid season in college. This kid is out to prove himself, and with time he will continue to improve. The Jazz face Toronto tonight at 9. Don’t sleep on Donovan Mitchell.


*Shout out to SB Nation’s Kaleb Searle for these summer league stats. All other information is from ESPN/ FOX