I wrote about Donovan Mitchell, who promised defense, but has delivered offense. Lots of it. https://t.co/G8BQfYTWaW— Paolo Uggetti (@PaoloUggetti) December 5, 2017
With Donovan Mitchell’s recent offensive explosion, the national media is taking notice of how incredible he is. The Ringer has been the frontrunner of NBA outlets talking about just how good he’s been. Of course, Jazz fans already knew this but it’s always nice to see that recognition outside of Jazz Nation.
Reminder: We have Mitchell for a MINIMUM of 7 years!
If you didn’t love Donovan Mitchell already, as you follow him on social media, you see he’s embraced the local college sports scene.
This is Donovan in his free time going to see the Utah Utes basketball team. To have a player with this level of star potential embrace the area is exciting.
After having seven years of a certain receiver of wet-willies avoid everything about Utah as much as possible, this is a serious breath of fresh air.
Don’t look now but Donovan’s averages are all going up. He’s now averaging 17.3 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists AS A ROOKIE in the league of professional basketball players.
I made a chart to show his progression this season. Your jaw will drop at my analytical prowess.
At this rate, Donovan may be averaging 20 points per game by the end of the season, which is pure silliness.
Lest we forget, it took Gordon Hayward 7 years and an entire offense designed to get him his points for him to get there. Donovan Mitchell is an actual star so he doesn’t need the star treatment to get buckets.
We also need to talk about the incredible recent play of Alec Burks. Burks was as vital to the recently ended Jazz win streak as Donovan. Look at what he did! (via basketball reference)
Almost 20 points per game with incredible efficiency. And his defense has been much improved as well. Alec Burks haters have gotten very quiet recently and they might be quiet for the rest of the season.
Lost in the shadow of Mitchell’s stellar night was another great performance by Alec Burks, who scored 24 points. With Rodney Hood and Raul Neto out, Burks has gotten opportunities to shine — and more importantly, has taken advantage.
While he explained it away by saying he’s had to play more minutes, coaches cite his efficiency as one of the biggest factors of his strong performances. Burks’ personal efficiency rating this season (15.6) is the second-highest of his career thanks to good shooting numbers (40.0 percent on 3-pointers), the lowest turnover percentage of his career and a commitment to defense that Snyder is finally squeezing out of him.
“I think what’s sustainable is his efficiency,” he said. “His defense has kind of gone unnoticed. … His activity and his discipline have been much improved.”
People will notice that Burks has been much more conservative in how he finishes shots. On plays when he used to spill over onto the court, he now is able to land. He’s shown increased ability to finish with his left hand, which has helped him to score 54 combined points against the Clippers and the Pelicans in back-to-back games.
As far as his defense, Snyder appreciates that he’s been settling more in a stance and is able to stay in front of his man. Burks credits that improvement to working with Thabo Sefolosha in practices and picking up tips from the veteran defender.
“He can guard one through five, and he just tells me everything he’s learned over his time in the league,” Burks said. “I think it’s something unique to Thabo. He’s really known for his defense.”
The return of AB may be complete and I am here for it!
If you don’t believe me about Donovan Mitchell, just ask Paul George...
Paul George is a big Donovan Mitchell fan. Says “he could be the steal of the draft” and is top two or three for Rookie of the Year: pic.twitter.com/p6uLA9cmc4— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 5, 2017
After last night’s game, Paul George talked to Donovan before heading to the locker room and you can see the huge respect. Every player that goes against Donovan comes away impressed. Jazz fans are very lucky!