Yesterday, the Utah Jazz twitter account released the injury report for today’s game against the Knicks and it made a bit of a splash.
.@UofUHealth Injury Report:— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 19, 2018
Tomorrow vs. New York
Jonas Jerebko (back spasms) is questionable.
Rudy Gobert (left PCL sprain, bone bruise) is probable.❗️#NYKatUTA
Jazz star center Rudy Gobert has been upgraded to “probable” for the Knicks game. It’s not yet known if he’ll end up playing (and he will likely be on minutes restriction if he does), but it’s big boost for the moral of the team and fanbase. It also doesn’t hurt that he can produce on the court.
Donovan Mitchell continues to draw attention to himself. Willie Cauley-Stein joined the list of opposing players to talk about the young gun.
“It’s demoralizing when you see it, especially when you’re on the bench. You see that and it’s just like f***, somebody needs to take him out, plain and simple.”— LiveFeedLouisville™ (@LiveFeedLville) January 18, 2018
-Willie Cayley Stein on Donovan Mitchell’s crushing in-game dunks@spidadmitchell #TakeNotehttps://t.co/alNwVRJelG
The ever-reliable Basketball Reference also chipped in with a VERY intriguing comparison.
Donovan Mitchell is averaging 19.3 PPG with a TS% of .556.— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) January 18, 2018
The last rookie who wasn't a big and averaged 19+ PPG and 55+ TS% was Michael Jordan https://t.co/vtrIOmiOkJ pic.twitter.com/83tU9mABqH
There are at least half a dozen more of these kinds of stats that could also be here. And more pop up seemingly after every Jazz game. Just take a quick glance on twitter and you’ll see “Donovan Mitchell did X, joining [insert current and/or future Hall of Fame player(s)] as the only players to do so in the last Y years.”
Soak it in. True Jazz fans have earned the joy from Mitchell after the hell that was 2017.
The Jazz will play the Knicks tonight on ESPN. It’s just the fourth time Utah will show up on national television this year (there will be just three more). They played the Nuggets, Rockets and Spurs in the previous games.
Since most of you may be curious, Mitchell has played in two of those games and averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Against the Rockets, Mitchell had 26 points, which was second only to James Harden (29) in that game.
Utah is 2-1 in nationally televised games this year.
Thabo Sefolosha went “on the clock” to answer some questions about his pop culture and lifestyle preferences.
This or That with Thabo Sefolosha! #OnTheClock pic.twitter.com/kqJm0zJM5m— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 19, 2018
Seems like he fits the mold of a Jazzman. A simple man with simple taste. What do you guys think?
Back to Donovan Mitchell, because, why not? There is an interesting pattern regarding points and Rookie of the Year winners.
There seems to be a pattern here #KiaROY #UnlimitedPerformance | @MetroPCS pic.twitter.com/vi5a3RgUti— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 18, 2018
Perhaps just as interesting is the correlation between averaging 20+ points per game and winning newbie of the year.
Since 1995, just two players who averaged more than 20 points per game have not won ROY. Joel Embiid (who didn’t win because he missed 51 games) and Carmelo Anthony, who was a rookie the same year as LeBron James (James also averaged more than 20).
Mitchell is currently averaging “just” 19.3 per game, but if he plays the way he has been for the last couple of months, he’ll eclipse the 20-point mark easily.