The Utah Jazz have had a difficult time stopping James Harden and will now have to it without Dante Exum. It’s a tough loss considering he’s had the most success guarding Harden of anyone on the Jazz. This puts even more pressure on Royce O’neale and Donovan Mitchell.
But if we’ve learned anything this series, and this season, don’t bet against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.
Before the season started, we predicted that Mitchell would be starting by the all-star break.
It took him a couple weeks.
Mitchell’s 9.3 ppg in October (on 32% shooting) seemed like a good starting point for a promising young prospect to build on. We had talked on the SLC Punks podcast that maybe by the end of season he’d end around 14-16 ppg.
He averaged 18 ppg in November.
After two injuries to Rudy Gobert and the Jazz loss to the league’s worst team, the Atlanta Hawks, it looked like the season might be over. #TankNote was in full effect here and I was already looking at draft picks that could fit alongside our explosive young rookie and a fully healthy Rudy Gobert.
Then the Jazz went on an unprecedented collection of winning streaks and made the 5 seed in the playoffs.
The Houston Rockets are a fantastic team with an incredible collection of talent that works seamlessly together, but if there’s one thing the 2017-18 Utah Jazz have taught us. Never say never.
When: 6:00MT • Tuesday May 8th, 2018
Where: Toyota Center · Houston, Texas
TV: TNT, TNTOT, AT&T Sports Net - Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 AM/97.5 FM The Zone,
Thabo Sefolosha - Knee - Out for season
Ricky Rubio - Hamstring - Out for 10 days
Dante Exum - Hamstring - day to day
Nobody - somehow
What to watch for
Donovan Mitchell vs. James Harden
Donovan Mitchell was not happy after the game with James Harden.
Game 5 was a tough loss for the Jazz where James Harden’s style of play brought out a lot of frustration in not just Donovan Mitchell, but Dante Exum and the rest of the Jazz team.
With their backs against the wall, you can count on the Jazz to leave everything on the floor. During the season there were too many times where the Jazz were counted out. With the Jazz facing elimination, now’s not the time to bet against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.