Donovan “Spida” Mitchell has changed the entire trajectory of the Utah Jazz franchise. When discussing rookie impact in the NBA, Sixers manchild Ben Simmons has captivated the headlines this season, but Mitchell made a late run at Rookie of the Year and has continued to ball out in his first playoff series. Mitchell’s dominant performance through four games gives us the impression that hes not just special, hes a game-changer and a generational talent.
When you have a player who can take over the game like Mitchell, that changes the complexion of your franchise. Utah finally has a guy who embraces the magnitude of the moment and can match anybody on the court bucket-for-bucket.
Donovan Mitchell was in Game 4. https://t.co/CP4D7bJoSJ
With Mitchell making MJ maneuvers on the court, the underdog Jazz is up 3-1 on OKC with a chance to close out and then try to advance past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
In Mitchell’s playoff debut on April 15, he recorded 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. In Game 2 he dropped 28 points, including 13 in the 4th quarter to lead the Jazz to a 102-95 win. Mitchell set a new record for points by a shooting guard in their first two postseason games with 55 points, breaking Michael Jordan’s record of 53 points.
In Game 3 he added 22 points and 11 rebounds in a 115-102 Jazz win and on Monday night he scored a game-high 33 points to stun OKC again. Mitchell has brought a new energy and excitement to Utah Jazz basketball. There hasnt been this much buzz about the Jazz since Malone and Stockton were pick-n-rolling their way to Western Conference championships and back to back NBA finals appearances in the late 90s.
Donovan Mitchell was getting a lot of love from the Utah Jazz fans last night. https://t.co/1qDzdk3zxU
OKC has the star power with 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, future HOFer Carmelo Anthony, and perennial All-Star Paul George, but Utah’s Mitchell — the 13th pick of the first-round of last years draft out of Louisville — is outplaying all of them. He was selected by Denver and traded to Utah later that night. It has proven to be the shrewdest move of the draft and the career-defining move for GM Dennis Lindsey who has been at the helm since 2012.
The Utah crowd was electric. Spida’s turning the playoffs into his own personal playground and display case for his superior skills. The playoffs are where legends are made and Mitchell is already carving out a revered space for himself in Jazz history and hes doing it as a rookie with a supporting cast full of guys such as Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. The age of Donovan Mitchell is officially here. Sit back, enjoy the ride and see how far the rookie can take Utah in these playoffs.