HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 14:Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets during Game One of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 14, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

James Harden expects Donovan Mitchell to be 'twice as aggressive' when the Jazz and Rockets meet for Game 2

by Aaron Falk

Donovan Mitchell walked into the arena carrying a box covered in superheroes, pulled out a pair of Spider-Man themed sneakers, and laced them up. The Utah Jazz guard had been waiting for that moment, his first chance to wear his signature shoes in a game, all season.

“It’s still kind of surreal to me,” Mitchell said. “For me to get the shoe so soon really kind of took me by surprise. It still does to this day.”

As Mitchell warmed up in his Adidas D.O.N. Issue #1s, his mother couldn’t help but smile and take a few pictures.

“When Adidas approached him and they told us their thoughts, you’re thinking, ‘Oh my god. This is amazing,’” Nicole Mitchell said. “But when it really happens, you’re speechless.”

The debut was special for the Mitchells.

But it wasn’t perfect.

“We didn’t get the win,” Mitchell said.

After the Utah Jazz’s Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets, Mitchell looked down at his box score with disappointment: 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, five turnovers, zero assists.

“It’s just one game and we have to learn from it,” Mitchell said. “I can’t have no assists and five turnovers. If you have no assists and five turnovers, you have to look yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust.”

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is also expecting Mitchell’s best shot in Game 2.

"It’s not what we did, he just didn’t have a great game,” D’Antoni said. “We tried, but it’s not like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve got a formula.’ He’ll play better.”

Rockets guard James Harden expects Mitchell to bounce back on Wednesday night.

“Just as much as I am, he’s a competitor,” Harden told reporters. “He loves to go out there and hoop. … He was aggressive in Game 1, but he’ll be twice as aggressive in Game 2.”

After two days of practice, Mitchell was confident that he and his team would be able to make the right adjustments. Yes, the star guard plans a change of shoes, a different colorway for Game 2. But, more importantly, he’s ready to make some changes on the court.

“I’m going to make some adjustments. Plenty of adjustments,” Mitchell said. “We’re in a hole. We’ve got to get out of the hole. That’s where my head is at.”

That’s the Jazz guard’s sole focus now.

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