In a 41 point scoring explosion, highlighted by an awe-inspiring 4th quarter was Donovan Mitchell‘s best play a pass?
With the Pelicans leading 101-100 and the clock under 3:00 minutes the Utah Jazz brought the ball up the floor on the right side. They set up a Mitchell/Derrick Favors pick and roll that they had been running much of the 4th quarter.
Two plays earlier Mitchell got to the rim for this layup.
After running the same set with Joe Ingles handling instead of Mitchell, the Jazz returned to Donovan Mitchell initiating the play.
Mitchell explained what he was thinking
“I think we ran the pick and roll twice before that. They were expecting me to shoot it the whole time and I knew they were expecting me to shoot it so I took one dribble and whipped it over to him (Joe Ingles). Joe and I had talked about that as soon as you come off the pick and roll hit each other.”
In a media session after practice on Sunday, Quin Snyder choose this play as a way to document the growth mind set of the rookie from Louisville.
“His mindset has been to embrace challenges. Maybe the most significant play the other night, that probably captures it, he was having a good night, scoring the ball, there was a play when they came up in pick and roll and he slung it across to the court to Joe Ingles for a three.”
“I don’t know if Donovan does that at the beginning of the year, not because he doesn’t want to, but maybe because he isn’t aware of that play. That is watching film with Johnnie Bryant (Jazz assistant coach), that is his teammates embracing him because they feel like he is embracing winning,” elaborated Snyder about this pass and the Ingles 3 that gave the Jazz the lead for good on Friday night.
Watching the highlight again what jumps out is the pace Mitchell put on the pass with a one arm wrap around pass. Mitchell was a star baseball player until his sophomore year in high school. As a pitcher he sported an 86 mile an hour fastball. For the pass to Ingles he went back to his time on the diamond.
“That pass beat the rotation because it had that zip on it, but it was also accurate. He has pride in his passing,” said Quin Snyder. In other words, a strike.
“For sure (it comes back to baseball) there have been a few times. I threw one to Raul v. Brooklyn, almost took his head off, threw one to Thabo (Sefolosha) and almost took
his head off, definitely back to the baseball roots,”agreed Mitchell.
He did almost take Neto’s head off in Brooklyn.
Maybe at times Mitchell will need to throw a change up, but it was an unselfish fastball on Friday they were still talking about 2 days after the 41 point explosion.
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