Donovan Mitchell is slated to be back in action for the Utah Jazz tonight at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Jazz trail the series 1-0.
The Utah Jazz offense is as egalitarian as one can make an elite NBA offense. But it always functions best when there’s a truly dominant player who can take advantage of switches. Without this threat, a 3-pointer/layup-heavy offense becomes too formulaic to stand 7 tests.
It is for this reason that the Spida’s return bodes well for Utah. Donovan is their most explosive scorer as well as their best athlete. His ability to go downhill and pressurize opposition paint areas brings a whole new dimension to the Jazz offense.
They’ve sorely missed him for the past 6 weeks that he’s been out of action. The expectation from the Jazz was that they’d relinquish the top seed in his absence.
But they’ve held on with characteristic efficiency. The result is that they’re now going to have homecourt advantage all playoffs long with a 52-20 record.
Is Donovan Mitchell playing tonight vs Grizzlies?
The Utah Jazz medical staff have confirmed Donovan Mitchell’s availability for their Game 2 vs the Memphis Grizzlies. This is just as well for Quin Snyder and co, who gave up Game 1 in an upset of sorts at home.
Spida was averaging career highs in 3-point percentage and scoring before his ankle problems. Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale will all be looking to benefit from his ability to drive and dish.
Donovan Mitchell will play in Game 2 on Wednesday night pic.twitter.com/zhc7PO4nlp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 24, 2021
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Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will face a fresh headache in their quest to minimize the Jazz’s 3-point attempts. The Jazz’s ability to light it up from range remains their most potent offensive ability. Even on a night when they shot it terribly in Game 1, Utah still had 12 3s.
The Grizzlies simply do not have a player with the foot speed to keep up with the Don for 6 games. They’ll have to resort to various gimmicky schemes if Mitchell is in anything like his bubble form.