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Donovan Mitchell is a special player whether he is Rookie of the Year or not

And I wouldn’t trade him for anyone

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz have already secured a spot in the NBA playoffs and all is well in Jazz land. Now it’s up to these guys to ensure they get home court heading into the first round. Left on the schedule are the Warriors tonight and the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Donovan Mitchell has had himself a year worthy of the Rookie of the Year award, something I discusses here yesterday. Whether or not he actually gets it doesn’t really matter. He’s deserving of the reward. We know it. And he knows it. He’s got his sights set on things higher than individual awards anyways.

Donovan gets more satisfaction from winning than he would from an individual reward. He is such an easy player to get behind and I love that we get to watch him with the Jazz note across his chest for many years to come. If he isn’t already, then he’ll soon be a bonafide star in the NBA and is garnering the national attention to show it. Here he is on the cover of Slam Magazine.

The Utah Jazz officially guaranteed themselves a place in the NBA playoffs on Sunday, which gives them one of the greatest season turnarounds in NBA history.

At that time in the standings the Jazz were 10th with a record of 17-26. The would fall even further below the .500 to 19-28 a few games later. Then they finally got healthy and started to figure everything out. Around that same time on January 5 the Jazz had just lost to the Denver Nuggets and Rudy Gobert tweeted out the following.

Rudy decided it was time to retweet that after the win against the Lakers that clinched a playoff berth. It reminds me a lot of Aaron Rogers R-E-L-A-X story from a few years ago and Rudy has been just as correct. He certainly played a huge role in righting the ship and I imagine that retweet felt so good.

You all exhaust me with the amount of Fan Posts I have to highlight every single week. It’s awesome!

Fesenko for President talks about the recent Trey Lyles quote and that he showed his true colors:

A couple of days ago on a podcast sponsored by his teammate Richard Jefferson, Lyles revealed that while he was with the Jazz his idea of working hard and Quin Snyder’s idea of working hard were quite different. A lack of willingness to work hard and to do the gritty, non-glamorous, blue collar basketball tasks that often make the difference between success and failure for an NBA team could very well explain Lyles’ lack of success in rebounding the ball and in playing defense while with the Jazz--which kept him from getting extended playing time with the Jazz.

seattleballin put together a sweet Jazz playoff hype video:

The Jazz are just so freaking awesome. We are all aware of how great they are on and off the court. The playoffs are gonna be incredible, so check out this video to get you hyped for the postseason!

I’m gonna keep making more Jazz videos. Let me know what you guys think about them. This one was a bit rushed but I’ll make some better ones in the future!

Alex Dye makes some cases for Mitchell as the ROY:

My first FanPost!

So I typed out a long argument on another site for our guy Donovan, and I realize now very few if any people will see it! Compiled using a lot of stats from users here (Gobert_the_destroyer is the only one I remember, thank you and anyone else I copied/was inspired by!) and some of my own research. I want to share and hopefully some of these arguments together in one place will help you shut up some Simmons peeps.

There are some things people miss about Donovan Mitchell.

For one, since the new year Mitchell is tied for 6th in DRtg for rotation players...

Gobert_the_Destroyer continues while you were sleeping as the season nears its close.

The Ringer recently put out an article focused around Rudy Gobert’s greatness, but also potential Achilles Heel.

The way we talk about Gobert is often reserved for playmakers on the opposite end of the court. It’s easy to suss out what it looks like on offense. But it’s rare to find a player who simplifies and clarifies what good defense can be in the same manner that, say, a Steph Curry dribbling suite into a pull-up 3-pointer can on offense. That’s a quality worth building a team around, and the Jazz have done exactly that...

After starting the season with a disappointing 18-27 record, Utah has since won 28 of its past 34 games and is currently in sole possession of the West’s 4-seed, which would grant home-court advantage in the first round. The Jazz are thriving in a league still in flux. Their defense is perfect in the present. But should they make it past the first round, they’ll have to reckon with the future of the sport—in either of its forms. Odds are it won’t be pretty...

At their worst, they are also completely beholden to Gobert’s influence. What happens when a playoff team can routinely exploit Gobert on the perimeter? He is too central to the entire team’s operations to sit out, but he’s also too ill-equipped to handle five-out lineups regularly.

The specific examples provided were of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets taking advantage of a 5-out lineup and getting Rudy out of his throne in the middle. Yes that is concerning and no Rudy isn’t perfect. But we’re talking about a couple defensive laps by against a couple of the greatest offenses the NBA has ever seen.

Rudy is the best defensive player in the NBA. Under no circumstances does playing him negatively effect the Jazz or lower their chances of winning. Just ask Chris Paul what impact even just 12 a Rudy can have in the NBA playoffs.

The Jazz just made the playoffs and we are all on a bit of a high because of it, so I hate to have to rip open old wounds. That being said, this was too interesting to leave out. It’s a long quote from Raja Bell on some of the details of what happened on THAT night. For you newer Jazz fans and Dunkers out there, THAT night is well-known as the night that Jerry Sloan stepped away from the game as head coach for good.

I’m sure many people involved would have handled things very differently looking back. Either way, we are in a better place now than we were then. Thankfully Jerry is still around and involved to enjoy it.