In the last couple of games for the Utah Jazz we’ve seen more from Dante Exum than we have for a good chunk of the year. This is a guy who has struggled to just get on the floor at times. In the first five games of December, Exum was getting fewer than 10 minutes per game
Since those five games though, the young Australian has done pretty well for himself. He’s played 18 minutes per game and is shooting 48.1/42.9/100 since Dec. 10 and now has back-to-back games of 15-plus points for the first time in his career. He had 15 points in the Christmas Day win over Portland and a season-high 20 points in the loss to Philadelphia, his highest total since March 30 (21 points vs Memphis).
The biggest question though is will is last?
We’ve seen stretches like this before and odds are we’ll see them again even if Exum doesn’t deliver on that elusive potential. So how long will it last this time?
As much as I’d like to be able to say this recent bout of good play on both ends (as opposed to just defense) will continue as is, odds are his shooting numbers — at least from 3-point land — will go down.
Hopefully he’ll hold his scoring numbers (9.1 per outing in the aforementioned stretch of games) steady and perhaps even improve them. Maybe this is a sign of things to come. But like I said, we’ve seen this song and dance before so I’m more cautious about throwing a party on Exum Island like I have been in the past.
Donovan Mitchell’s signature shoe was officially revealed Thursday, two weeks after the story was broken here on SLC Dunk. The latest report on the release date, according to Eric Woodyard, is that it coincides with the release of a certain Marvel movie.
Donovan Mitchell’s the D.O.N. Issue #1 is tentatively scheduled to release on July 5, 2019, in conjunction with the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” movie for $100, according to a source. He is expected to wear them on-court around February/March, The blue/red colorway will drop 1st. pic.twitter.com/uSLXXPnIrK— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) December 28, 2018
It’s pretty solid marketing, if you asked me, to associate the release of the shoe with the latest Spider-Man movie. Plus, getting to see Spida wear these shoes during what will hopefully be a hard playoff push from the Jazz will be awesome.
Sticking with Mitchell-related subjects. Ben Simmons was asked after the Jazz-76ers game Thursday about the Rookie of the Year race from last year. The third-year point guard of course replied with the grace and dignity one would expect from a high-level basketball player.
Stay classy Ben Simmons.
Ben Simmons isn’t the only player that went essentially head-to-head on a major award last year. Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert were the top two candidates for Defensive Player of the Year, with the latter taking home the trophy. Apparently, Embiid is still salty about it.
Joel Embiid (23 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks) on facing Jazz big man Rudy Gobert: "Oh, I love playing against guys like him. Defensive Player of the Year, I guess." -- He made air quotes when he mentioned the award Gobert won. -- "I should have gotten that title."— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 28, 2018
To be quite honest, I feel like Utah and Philly could develop quite the rivalry with the beefs between Mitchell/Simmons and Gobert/Embiid. It’s a shame they don’t play more in the regular season and can’t meet in the playoffs anywhere other than the finals.
Tony Bradley is back with the Stars. He has spent time with the Jazz on multiple occasions this season but has not seen the floor yet this season. In his career, the former 28th overall pick has played 29 minutes across nine games scoring eight points and collecting 11 rebounds.