In the offseason, Dennis Lindsey and Quin Snyder said they were hoping that Ricky Rubio could develop into a Jason Kidd-lite this season. When talking about his potential in the Utah Jazz offense, the Jazz brass saw him as a triple double threat going light on scoring but averaging lines of 8 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.
So far this season, that hasn’t been the case. Ricky Rubio is the Utah Jazz’s leading scorer averaging 17.5 points per game. He’s also averaging a very unlike-Rubio line of 6.5 assists per game. His point increase is +6.4 points over last year.
Ricky Rubio prior to this season only had 22 games of 20 points or more. That’s on average 3 games a year in which he scores 20 points or more. Ricky has scored 20 points or more in 3 of his first 8 games with the Utah Jazz.
Even more impressively, he’s scoring efficiently. Ricky has an eFG% of 51.5% while shooting 48.3% from 2 and 37.2% from 3. Add in he’s getting to the line 4.6 times a game and hitting 91.9% from the line and you have yourself a career year.
Ricky is playing with confidence and that is making a big difference this year.
Ricky’s evolution from facilitator to shot maker would be the biggest story of the Utah Jazz this season if it wasn’t for Donovan Mitchell’s rookie season. Donovan Mitchell became just the second Utah Jazz rookie to have two games of 22 points or more in his first 8 games, joining Utah Jazz and fellow Louisville great Darrell Griffith.
Donovan Mitchell is now averaging 11.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.0 rpg, and 1.0 spg. In Donovan Mitchell’s last 5 games, he’s averaging 18.6 points a game. That’s a rookie averaging 18.6 points per game. In any other year, Donovan Mitchell would be leading the Rookie of the Year discussion, but this year is unlike any other year. Jayson Tatum is contributing big-time for a playoff team and Ben Simmons is doing Ben Simmons stuff. It’s unlike any other year, but after last night, Donovan Mitchell has grabbed the attention of the NBA.
Speaking of Donovan Mitchell, he beat Damian Lillard while wearing Dame’s shoes. Mitchell’s shoes last night were money.
Donovan Mitchell hooping in the adidas Dame 4 pic.twitter.com/9sfMN5Hx7l— B/R Kicks (@br_kicks) November 2, 2017
Hey, Donovan, can we *shuffles over* can we have some of those shoes?
Real talk, the look was fire and he stood out on the court. Can’t wait to see what Donovan rocks when the Jazz wear their gold unis for the first time.
The Utah Jazz continue to be undefeated at home. The reason for that? Their NBA 2nd best defense. The Utah Jazz now have a Defensive Rating of 98.1 and they have regained their rightful place as the league’s slowest pace team at 95.0 possessions per game.
Last season it didn’t feel like the Jazz had much of a home advantage, but at the same point they were a really good road team. This year the Jazz are 0-3 on the road and 5-0 at home. With Utah’s lone road game in their next 8 being at Houston, it’s probably not likely they’ll get their first road win soon. There is, however, a pretty high likelihood that they receive their first loss at home soon.
Have we mentioned how this team is the most likable in recent memory?
“You a bad man Rick” -me probably pic.twitter.com/DA0jrEVFCm— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) November 2, 2017