Donovan Mitchell continues ascent in 4th year
Every season, Donovan Mitchell ups the ante. And this year was no different.
The former Louisville Cardinal proved Utah’s offensive leader, averaging a career-high 26.4 points per game on career-best shooting (52.0% effective field goal percentage and 38.6% from three). In March against Boston, Mitchell scored his 6,000th point in a Jazz uniform. He became the fastest to reach 6k in franchise history (262 games).
After making his second straight All-Star appearance in Atlanta, Spida upped the scoring punch even further. In 19 games, he averaged 29.6 points - only second to Steph Curry. He dropped 42 against both the Kings and Wizards.
Mitchell suffered a right ankle sprain against the Pacers, missing the final 16 contests of the regular season. He returned in Game 2 of the Jazz’s first round series against the Grizzlies. The results? He nailed his first attempt, scored 25, and collected the win.
“Any time you’ve been out for a significant period of time, I think there’s a tendency to really try to put a stamp on the game. But I thought he really let the game come to him,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. “He really played within himself. I thought he just made the right plays. Obviously, it’s good to have him back. It certainly changes our team.”
The Jazz’s star guard continued the pace the rest of the way, even starting the second round with 45 against the Clippers. Fighting through the ankle sprain, Mitchell posted 32.3 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in 10 games.
“He’s a warrior. It’s a unique player that has the competitiveness and desire to play through that type of pain,” Snyder said.