After the Jazz rolled to a 100-89 victory over the Houston Rockets, one thing became clear — the Utah Jazz need Donovan Mitchell to be efficient and effective on offense to be good. Without his 38 points (and 7 assists) and his solid shooting percentages on the way there (0.560/0.444/0.750 splits), we likely would have seen a repeat of the Memphis game.
That isn’t to say Mitchell has to be the only scorer. In fact, he absolutely can’t be if the Jazz hope to have positive results throughout the whole year and playoffs. But it’s clear that Joe Ingles, Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert aren’t exacly going to be putting up 25 points on a nightly basis the way Spida can. Andrew Sharp expounded on this in an article he wrote for SI.com.
Rudy Gobert is incredible defensively, Snyder is a great coach, players like Ingles are fantastic role players, and all of these factors will give Utah a chance against every team in the league. But Mitchell is the guy who’ll have to close.
There’s a lot more in the article that Sharp goes into so give it a click through if you’d like to read.
Mitchell’s game against the Rockets is hopefully a sign that he’s worked out all the cobwebs of the offseason. Through three games, he appeared showing the early signs of a sophomore slump (or rookie slump if his name was Ben Simmons). Mitchell was shooting 34.4 percent from the floor with more shots attempted than points and more turnovers than assists.
Tim MacMahon reported Mitchell saying “I was in my head” in regards to his slump. The important thing ultimately was persistence and hard work, two things Mitchell has in spades. The rest of the team also supported him, as he stated in a piece by Tony Jones for the Athletic.
“The biggest thing, my teammates, they’ve been telling me to stay with it, even if I had a bad game tonight,” Mitchell said. “We just have to keep moving forward. We’ve been watching film for two days and that really helped us. Just on everything, and that helped spark us. We needed to slow down and control our pace.”
Just as it was said by many that Mitchell’s slump was just three games, it’s also important to note that his game on Wednesday was just one game. There is plenty of work to do for the second-year star, but he’s also got a lot of time to get to it.
While players like Mitchell and Rubio have found themselves struggling in certain games this season, Rudy Gobert has not. The Stifle Tower has recorded a double-double in each of his first four games and is second in the league in field goal percentage.
Through the first four games of the season, @rudygobert27 has averaged 14.5 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, while shooting 73% from the field (Currently 2nd in Field Goal Percentage in the NBA). @Xfinity | #PlayeroftheWeek pic.twitter.com/rVDctue0ST— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 25, 2018
His four double-doubles are tied for second in the league. The leader, Joel Embiid, has played five games this year and also has had a double-double in each appearance.
On a smaller note, he is the only Jazz player since 1983-84 (as far back as Basketball Reference’s game finder statistics go back) to have at least 50 points, 50 rebounds and 9 blocks in the first four games of the season.
The Salt Lake City Stars held its media day on Thursday. Our very own James Hansen was there to cover it and if you follow the SLC Dunk twitter account (shameless plug), you got a decent summary of it.
With it being a G-League team and all, there isn’t much to be said. There’s only two players to really keep your eyes on: Tony Bradley and Naz Mitrou-Long. Mainly because those two are the ones who actually have a chance at spending notable time on Utah’s main roster.
Of those two, Bradley is definitely the most likely to end up on the 15-man roster for an extended period of time. But the former first-round pick is still likely to spend another season dominating in the G-League before he gets a solid shot on an NBA court.
Joe Ingles recently appeared in a commercial for Zions Bank and it’s...well...exactly what you’d expect if Ingles shot a commercial with Zions Bank.
Not too long after this was tweeted out, Ingles offered some behind-the-scenes insight for the commercial. To avoid cluttering things up, I’ll just provide some summary of the Twitter conversation. Ingles said that in the final moments of the commercial, where he is shown laughing pretty hard, it was in response to a joke told by his wife, Renae Ingles, who was apparently just off screen (and may even be heard in the background at one point).
A fan inquired as to what the joke was and, after Joe passed the question to Renae, she filled us in.
What do you call a fake noodle?— Renae Ingles (@RenaeIngles) October 25, 2018
Bravo, Renae. Bravo. You out-dad-joked Joe freaking Ingles.