Louisville, Kentucky: Charron Elliott
“Spida” Has Put the NBA On Notice
Judging from my location a lot of people reading this may think I am biased but I assure you I am not when I say this, rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz is the “REAL DEAL!”
Okay, sure I am from the city of Louisville and of course, I graduated from the University of Louisville but putting all of that aside, there’s no way anyone who has paid attention to the NBA this season can tell me that Mitchell isn’t at least a threat for Rookie of the Year Award.
Dubbed the nickname “Spida” Mitchell, Donovan has averaged a team-high 17.9 points per game, which is second among all rookies this season. He is shooting 43.8 percent from the floor and 36.3 percent from three, with an effective field-goal percentage of 51 percent. He is also the only rookie so far with a 40 point game and has had multiple 30 point games.
His 41-point performance against the Pelicans on Dec.1 was the highest point total for any rookie in Utah Jazz history.
Mitchell is also shooting 85.2 percent from the free throw line, which leads all rookies and is averaging 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. At 28.3 percent, he has the highest usage rate out of all of the rookies and is second on the Jazz in minutes played (1,002).
I’ll be honest with Mitchell being traded to the Utah Jazz on draft night I knew he would have a chance to eventually start and be a solid rookie coming in but he has even exceeded my expectations. He has become a crowd favorite in Salt Lake City and gained respect from around the league mainly for his stellar play.
While no one has had the overall stats of Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, who leads all rookies with triple-doubles (4), I still think Donovan has made quite the statement in this first half of the NBA season. He will only get better as a playmaker in the NBA so it will be interesting to see the evolution that takes place in Donovan’s overall game in the next few months.
The (15-20) Utah Jazz are currently sitting at the ninth spot in the western conference so the play of Mitchell and his teammates will have to improve if Utah wants to make it to the NBA Playoffs for the second-consecutive year.
Still, the future of the Jazz is in great hands with a stellar rookie like Donovan “Spida” Mitchell being a great addition to them and possibly the face of the franchise.