Last night the Utah Jazz beat the LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers 113-95. With last nights win, the Jazz brought their record to above .500 for the first time since November 12. They currently sit at 22-21 on the season with a much lighter schedule going forward until the end of the 2018-2019 regular season.
Together ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/FkxcKitg0U
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 12, 2019
Donovan Mitchell performed very well last night, posting a stat line of 33 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two blocks in a few seconds under 33 minutes played. Utah was without a true point guard. Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and Raul Neto were all out due to injury, just as they are again tonight. Donovan took much of the floor general duties and proved he was up to the task by dishing out nine assists (it could have been significantly more if his teammates had made more of their attempts following a pass from him.)
In the past four games Donovan Mitchell has averaged 29.5 points and a field goal percentage of 49%. He has also been shooting it from 3 pt land at an astronomical 56%. I realize that the parameters for these stats are only four games but they indicate that Mitchell is finding his rhythm.
A huge indicator that should promote hope for the future in Jazz fans is the fact that in these last four games we have seen Donovan smile more. Before the new year, as I watched the games I rarely remember seeing Mitchell smile while on the court. I have heard/read comments from people that I was either watching the game with or within the twitterverse about how little Donovan smiles or acts like he is having as much fun as he had his rookie season. Donovan has been feeling more pressure this season than last but it is quite possibly that he has found his groove at long last and will return to the Donovan Mitchell from last year.
Here's the inspirational speech I mentioned last night:
"Put your head down and go to the f—ing rim." pic.twitter.com/XtfJOPopjB
— Ken Clayton (@k_clayt) January 10, 2019
This little clip has been circulating twitter for a couple of days now, and it seems Donovan took his coaches instruction to heart.
The Jazz play the Chicago Bulls tonight on the tail end of this back to back. Bobby Portis is listed as questionable tonight with his elbow still giving him concern and of course Denzel Valentine will be out all year because of the ankle surgery he had at the beginning of the season. Grayson Allen will be available for the Jazz but Rubio, Exum and Neto are still ruled out so the PG responsibilities will once again be divided amongst other Jazz players like Mitchell and Ingles. Thabo Sefolosha is also out tonight.
The game starts at 8:00pm mountain standard time.
I hope to see the Jazz remain over .500 with a win tonight.