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Donovan Mitchell broke out all sorts of tricks in the Jazz’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves

Mitchell, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was important on both ends and aggressive in a 36 point performance.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) handles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021, in Minneapolis. Utah won 136-104.
Stacy Bengs, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Utah Jazz picked up their fifth straight victory, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 136-104, on Wednesday night at the Target Center.

High Notes

  • Donovan Mitchell is very good at basketball. The reigning Western Conference Player of the Week came out of the gate looking like he was in Minnesota to prove a point. He was important on both ends and obviously ready to be aggressive when it came to scoring. He broke out all sorts of tricks en route to a 36-point performance to lead the Jazz to victory.

  • The Jazz played for the second straight game without Hassan Whiteside (glute contusion) and it forced/gave them the chance to play a small lineup with Rudy Gay at the five for pretty long stretches. Honestly, mixed results. But there were some really good things and ultimately I think the more that the Jazz are able to practice that small-ball look in competitive games, the better they’ll be for it in the long run because that’s probably a tool they’ll have to use at some point in the postseason.
  • Kind of a side development of the Jazz playing small, it meant that Gay, Royce O’Neale and Bojan Bogdanovic all spent time switching on defense and I have to give credit to Bogdanovic for the strength that he showed against Karl-Anthony Towns. That’s not an easy assignment for someone like Bogdanovic who doesn’t spend a lot of time guarding larger players, especially players of the offensive caliber of Towns. Bogdanovic finished with 21 points and five rebounds in addition to the hefty defensive night that he was tasked with.

“Credit to those guys for taking that matchup and being ready to go.” — Donovan Mitchell

  • I mentioned Mitchell’s intensity early on in the night on Twitter, and that led to one the best replies I’ve seen in a while:

As far as nicknames go, this is up there. If Patrick Beverley (as he’s known to do) gets into someone’s head or has them mad — the Cold Weather got to them. If the opposition beats Beverley — Cold Weather didn’t phase him. It works on all levels.

Low Notes

  • Quick turnovers against a team that feasts more than any other team on turnovers was not a good way to start this game. The Jazz could have let that spiral and didn’t, but they did need a timeout to clean some stuff up.

“I’m thankful for those two turnovers because it really shows the growth that we’ve had. Because that could go the other way real quick, especially to start a game. We really took our (focus) level to a different level after that.” — Donovan Mitchell

  • Sometimes it seems like Joe Ingles relies on Rudy Gobert’s defensive presence more than some of the other players on the Jazz, which is frustrating because Ingles has the ability to be a good defender himself and he shouldn’t be relying on Gobert to clean up messes.

Flat Notes

  • A technical foul for taunting is so weak. Trash talk and grandstanding are such an integral part of basketball. If we take the sugar out of cotton candy then cotton candy isn’t fun and if you don’t let guys taunt each other then basketball isn’t as fun.