If you have not seen or heard by now, Donovan Mitchell is the real deal. After a 41 point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Jazz guard has thrown his name into serious contention for Rookie of the Year. With Gordon Hayward leaving for Boston, it left Utah depleted offensively.
Now with Mitchell, they have a young stud who is capable of scoring with the best. He’s averaging around 17 points per contest and has shown the ability to knock it down fairly well from deep.
The one thing that stands out about the 13th overall pick is his explosiveness to the rim. With just one move he is able to blow right past defenders and throw it down or finish with finesse. His strong performance against the Pelicans made him one of few rookies since Blake Griffin to have a 40+ points performance their first season.
Over the last 10 games, his scoring has been consistent, around 20.5 per night. He has also impressed on the other side of the floor tallying up a steal and a half as well.
Now that Mitchell has established himself as a willing scorer for the team, it can relieve the pressure off of other players. Particularly Rudy Gobert, who thrives off of second opportunities and pick and roll situations.
As of right now Utah is sitting comfortably at 13-12 and look to stay competitive in the brutal Western conference. It is a huge sign of hope for Jazz fans that a rookie is producing so well in a star studded conference.
In a recent contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder the rookie impressed again. Battling it out against Russell Westbrook, Mitchell was able to put up 31 points against the reigning MVP.
It’s been a very impressive rookie class so far, and Mitchell shows that he relishes in the big moments. It will be a little while before the Jazz are in title considerations, but this young core is providing hope to a loyal fan base.
Mitchell looks to be one of those focal points going forward. His work has closed the gap between him and front runner Ben Simmons. It’d be a huge boost come Spring time when the playoff picture is more vivid and Utah is still sitting pretty at 7th. Until then the Jazz guard should focus on being the main cog for Quin Snyder’s offense.