Donovan Mitchell is not himself, and he can’t stand it.

Even before he was in the NBA, Mitchell has been able to rely on his athleticism and explosiveness. It’s what has made him such a dynamic and lethal scorer. But Mitchell is playing through a significant amount of pain. The right ankle that he sprained on April 16 is not fully healed and it is limiting him in ways that he’s not used to.

“For most of my life I’ve been able to push by, explode by, jump through people or over people,” Mitchell said after the Utah Jazz’s Game 5 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. “For the first time in my career I’ve had to play on the floor. ... This is a learning process and it sucks to learn this in the playoffs but it is what it is. No excuses.”

The Jazz have tried their best to limit what Mitchell has to do in the half court, limiting the amount of time he has to spend cutting around screens and making plays that are hard on the injured ankle. But, when the Jazz’s defense isn’t getting stops and the Jazz are unable to run in transition — which was the case on Wednesday night — the Jazz are forced to put Mitchell in positions that aren’t comfortable right now.

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To his credit, despite the injury and everything else that the Jazz have been dealing with, Mitchell has been about as good as the Jazz could have ever hoped through these playoffs. But he can’t win games by himself. He shouldn’t be asked to when he’s fully healthy, and he certainly can’t do it when he doesn’t feel like he’s able to move properly.

“It’s better to have a Donovan that’s 90% than to have no Donovan,” Rudy Gobert said. “At the end of the day it’s really on the whole team to try to give everything they have and to help each other out.”

Despite the support from his teammates, the push for more transition offense and trying to get Mitchell into more favorable positions that don’t require as much from his body, this playoff series has been very hard on him. And, if the Jazz are able to win an elimination game in Los Angeles on Friday and win a Game 7 on Sunday at Vivint Arena, it would be great and rewarding and validating, but things won’t get any easier for Mitchell. His pain will not subside.

“For most of my life I’ve been able to push by, explode by, jump through people or over people. For the first time in my career I’ve had to play on the floor. ... This is a learning process and it sucks to learn this in the playoffs but it is what it is. No excuses.” — Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell

When the Clippers left Vivint Arena with a Game 5 win and a 3-2 lead in the second-round series, Mitchell’s frustration was acute.

“I’m just going to have to deal with it,” Mitchell said. “It (expletive) sucks. I ain’t got nothing else to say, you know? It’s just, it’s tough when you try different things that you normally do and you see spots you can get through, but you can’t. So, you’ve got to find a way to make it happen. It’s tough but I’ve got to find a way, otherwise we’ll be home.”

The thought of losing, of being bounced out of the playoffs before reaching the Western Conference finals, after everything that the Jazz and Mitchell have endured, after all he’s put his body through over the last few weeks, is unbearable for Mitchell.

“I said it last year,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t do all this to lose in the second round. So, I’ve got to figure it the (expletive) out. Otherwise, that’s it. Excuse my language.”

The Jazz will have just one day to go over everything that went wrong in Game 5, everything that they can do to help Mitchell succeed, before playing the most important game of the season on Friday, on the road, with the threat of it all being for nothing hanging over their heads.