During Game 3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Donovan Mitchell suffered an awkward landing after a layup resulting in a right ankle injury.
The Utah Jazz has been the best team this season by far. Backed by their All-Star trio of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley along with pivotal players off the bench like Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles, the Jazz finished with the best 52-20 record in the entire league.
Utah seems to have brought their confidence from their regular-season success into the postseason. After winning 6 games in a row in the playoffs, on Saturday night, Utah suffered their first loss in the second round of the playoffs. Getting blown out 132-106 by Kawhi Leonard and his Los Angeles Clippers, Snyder’s boys still have a 2-1 series lead.
But what was more horrific for the Jazz franchise, Donovan Mitchell’s awkward right ankle landing after a layup which resulted in him sitting out the last 7:05 minutes of the game.
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“It was my landing”: Donovan Mitchell on what caused the pain
Midway in the fourth quarter, Utah trailing 106-95, Spida quickly drove to the basket. He then had an awkward landing and immediately rushed to the Jazz locker room. Following the final buzzer, the 2-time All-Star was spotted limping off the court with his legs heavily iced.
Donovan Mitchell left Game 3 with his right foot wrapped in ice. pic.twitter.com/bH0WzNlYsi
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Even though he did quickly return to the bench and was available to take back on the court, coach Quin Snyder decided not to risk injuring his star player. During the postgame interview, Quin said:
“He’s in good shape. He could have gone back into the game but at that point, the lead had stretched. That was my decision to not put him back in, the game had gotten away at that point, but he’s fine.”
Having missed the last 16 games on the regular season and the first playoff game with a right ankle sprain, Donovan too didn’t want to risk his leg. Agreeing with his coach, Don said:
“I’m good. I felt like I was able to go back, [but] no need to risk it down 16-18 at that point, but I’ll be fine.”
When asked what he thought caused his right ankle injury, the 6-foot-1 combo guard explained:
“It’s when I land. It’s been just trying to manage it. I don’t really know what else to tell you; I don’t want to say too much. It was just the landing, but I’m good. I’ll be ready for Game 4.”
Donovan Mitchell on what caused the pain in his right ankle: “It’s when I land. It’s been just trying to manage it. I don’t really know what else to tell you; I don’t want to say too much. It was just the landing, but I’m good. I’ll be ready for Game 4.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 13, 2021
Well, even though Jazz lost Game 3, the news that Mitchell is fine and will be ready for Game 4, should be great news for Jazz fans. With the Jazz still in a 2-1 series advantage over the Clippers, the Western Conference Semis is far from over.