Analysis: Donovan Mitchell leads Utah Jazz as they advance to Western Conference semifinals
The Utah Jazz are headed to the conference semifinals after beating the Memphis Grizzlies, 126-110, in a wire-to-wire victory on Wednesday night at Vivint Arena in Game 5 of the first round.
The Utah Jazz are headed to the Western Conference semifinals after beating the Memphis Grizzlies 126-110 in a wire-to-wire victory on Wednesday night at Vivint Arena in Game 5 of the first round.
- Donovan Mitchell set the tone right out of the gate and had the Jazz’s offense singing sweet, sweet tunes. He scored 26 of his 30 points in the first half and finished the game with 10 assists and six rebounds. He was masterful with his creation and a superstar in every sense with his stepback daggers. His passes were smart and on target, he was efficient and patient with his shot and even when Mike Conley left the game in the second quarter, he refused to let his foot off the gas. He led the Jazz in every sense.
“Having guys that work so hard and want to win is how you build a championship identity, and I think he has that, as we saw tonight. He’s getting better every single year, so it’s fun to be a part of. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen next.” — Rudy Gobert on Donovan Mitchell
- The Jazz have gotten the best version of Royce O’Neale in these playoffs and on Wednesday he took it to another level. His defense was great, his shot making was excellent and his speed was welcomed.
- Mitchell and O’Neale are very close and they work out together a lot in the offseason and when they are playing in tandem and passing the ball to one another, it’s not hard to see that familiarity off the court and time spent in the gym together pays off. It’s like they’re just running drills together and no one else is on the court to stop them.
- The Jazz never trailed in this game and led by as many as 36 points. Jazz fans have been waiting for this team to assert their dominance over a plucky Memphis team that, while energetic and talented, is just not as good as the Jazz. The Jazz did that on Wednesday night on their fourth straight win.
- All fears and thoughts of that 3-1 blown series lead last year against the Denver Nuggets can be put to bed. The Jazz are headed to the conference semifinals for the first time in three years and they’re the No. 1 team with home court advantage throughout. Nearly every single player is playing their best basketball.
- Bojan Bogdanovic usually likes to get himself going by getting a couple easy buckets at the rim to start a game, but he came out swinging the ball around and shooting from long range in the opening minutes and it really served him well.
- We often talk about the offensive prowess of Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson, and for good reason. But they had some really impressive defensive moments against the Grizzlies on Wednesday and if the Jazz want to make a deep run the team will need those locked in defensive possessions from everyone on the roster.
- The Jazz will be able to rest through at least Saturday and possible longer depending on the outcome of the Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers series. That’s great news for everyone.
- It’s hard not to notice that Joe Ingles hasn’t been as offensively involved over the last few games. He did have four assists and was a little more engaged in Game 5, but it feels like the Jazz can’t afford to lose someone of his caliber for entire games once the competition starts to get a little more intense.
- Conley pulling his hamstring is never something that you want to have happen no matter how minor or how confident he is that he’ll be able to play in the next round. The rest will be hugely important for the Jazz and especially Conley and Mitchell.