Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has been the subject of a lot of debate in Jazzland this year. The sophomore guard from Louisville has become the Jazz's No. 1 offensive option, like he was last season, but has become the focal point of opposing teams' defenses, which have had a full offseason to scout Mitchell.
This season, Mitchell is averaging 20.4 points per game, just down from his 20.5 points per game a season ago, albeit less efficiently than last year (40.9 percent shooting compared to 43.7 percent last year). As of late, Mitchell seems to have turned a corner, averaging 22.3 points per game over the last four games. Mitchell turned in one of his best halves of basketball in Detroit on Jan. 5, scoring 24 of his 26 points in the second half to lead the Jazz to victory, but against Milwaukee, he went 0-of-5 in the fourth quarter as the Jazz lost.
Mitchell's sophomore season is the subject of a new piece by Haley O'Shaughnessy in The Ringer.
"The Jazz are in the same position the Rockets were pre-Harden explosion — stuck without options, in desperate need of a bump in shooting, waiting for someone to save them. Harden has been that savior. He is Houston’s offense without Paul in the picture. And for nearly three quarters Monday, Mitchell was Utah’s. But the sophomore slumped in the final quarter and a half of play, hitting only one of his final 10 shots, turning the ball over twice in the final three minutes, and looking less like a Hardenesque first, second, and third option and more like, well, an exhausted 22-year-old," O'Shaughnessy writes.
An Eastern Conference scout gives his take on Mitchell
In other "opinions about Donovan Mitchell" news, an NBA Eastern Conference scout offered his analysis on Mitchell in Marc Stein's New York Times NBA newsletter.Comment on this story
"The league really studies you and tries to develop a book on you. It's no different than baseball. He's not the new kid on the block any more, so teams are able to guard him a little better. He's in a good situation where they have complete trust in him. They've given him the keys to the city. And if he has a bad game, they're going to go to him the next time. The Jazz are lucky to have him, but he's lucky to be there, too," the scout writes.
This Jazz fan's reaction to being surprised with flights, hotel and tickets to the Jazz-Lakers game is priceless.
Jae Crowder appreciated her shirt.