For two years now Jazz fans have been consistently amazed at what Donovan Mitchell has accomplished. Night after night Mitchell has found a way to increase his scoring while also improving his efficiency. When you consider the makeup of the team being a spacing nightmare during that time, it’s even more remarkable.
During the most recent offseason we’ve waited and waited to see what would happen when Mitchell finally got to play with shooters and space. Turns out great things happen. Against the Thunder Mitchell had a monster night with a line of 32 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists on 63% shooting. Sheesh.
If you aren’t already, you should be following NBA Math on Twitter. They give snapshots throughout the season of how players are performing. Not surprising, Mitchell is already a standout. Obviously this is one game, but it’s a great step in the right direction.
Through games on Oct. 23, here's how all NBA players have performed in TPA throughout the 2019-20 season: pic.twitter.com/eXvDkN7SHK— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) October 24, 2019
Mitchell’s performance passes the eye test in a big way. Here’s video of every basket from the Thunder game. You’ll see that Mitchell has honed his game to where he can score at all three levels.
This isn’t possible if the Jazz don’t give Mitchell the right pieces around him this offseason. As enjoyable as the last two seasons were, there was a hard ceiling of what that team was able to accomplish. The player that hit that ceiling the hardest was Mitchell because all of his greatest strengths were hampered terrible spacing and double teams.
The fact that Mitchell was able to find ways to score last season shows just how good he has a chance to be. That first game had to feel like a batter that was warming up in the batter’s box for two years with a weight on his bat and now gets to go to the plate without it.
It’s only one game, but the evidence is there that Mitchell is not only able to score but he finds his teammates as well when the defense focuses on him. And this season, those shots are going in.
It’s upon us, Jazz fans. Mitchell is about to do what all Jazz fans knew he could. Now, the entire NBA will see it as well when he makes his first all star appearance and shocks people in the playoffs. Again.