For three straight months, Donovan Mitchell has dominated the rookie scene in the Western Conference. After Kyle Kuzma won the award for November, the Louisville product hasn’t even left the door open for another Western Conference rookie to win Rookie of the Month.
In February, Mitchell averaged 21.4 points (most among rookies), 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals. Mitchell also became the first rookie since Blake Griffin to record two 40-point games with his 40-point effort against the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 2. The Jazz went 9-2 in February, which included the tail end of Utah’s 11-game winning streak.
With the February distinction, Mitchell has become the second rookie in Utah Jazz history to win the award three times (Trey Burke won it in December 2013 and in January and April 2014).
Since Dec. 1, Mitchell has averaged an NBA rookie best 22.3 points per game and has recorded 20-point games on 23 different occasions (he has 30 on the season).
Mitchell has forced himself into a several categories in the Utah Jazz history books. He passed Trey Burke for most 3-pointers made as a rookie (111) and now has 137. The NBA record is 185, set by Damian Lillard in 2012-13. Mitchell is currently on pace for 186.
With 21 games left to play Mitchell is third in franchise history for total points as a rookie with 1,138. He is 65 points behind Karl Malone (1,203) and 533 behind Darrell Griffith (1,671). If he averaged a little less than 26 points per game in the next 21 games, he would break Griffith’s Jazz record.
Calling Mitchell’s rookie year magical is a huge understatement. But at this point, there aren’t really enough superlatives to describe just what he has meant to this Jazz organization.
This is likely why a lot of the NBA fans saying Ben Simmons is way ahead of in the ROY race just don’t understand why Mitchell is actually neck and neck with the 76ers’ redshirt rookie. Part of the magic of Donovan’s season is the timing of it all, which I don’t need to explain as we’ve all heard it 10 million times.
Long live Spida Mitchell.