Built For The Postseason: Donovan Mitchell Continues To Elevate Game

Built For The Postseason: Donovan Mitchell Continues To Elevate Game

Some players are built for the playoffs. This is the case for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging at least 30 points per game in the postseason for the third consecutive year. 

During the 2021-22 regular season, Mitchell finished top 10 in scoring with 25.9 points per game. He shot 35.5 percent from deep in 9.8 attempts per contest. With 20.5 field goal attempts per game, he shot 44.8 percent from the floor overall. 

In the playoffs, he’s been an even more elite scorer. Mitchell has the third-most total points of any player in the playoffs—he’s produced 121 points through four games, good for 30.3 per game. 

Interestingly, he’s only shooting 39.6 percent from the floor and 23.5 percent from distance, meaning there’s still room for improvement. He’s been great in this opening series against the Dallas Mavericks, and while he’s ultimately scored 30 or more points in three out of four games thus far, it’s taken him a bit to get going. Mitchell has gotten off to a slow start in most of the matchups in this opening series, and he’s averaging 11.0 points in the first half (21st in NBA) and 19.3 points in the second half (first in NBA).

With that in mind, he’s been outstanding coming out of the half, averaging 10.8 points in the third quarter, which is tied for the second-most in the League this postseason. If Mitchell can start producing in both halves, he’ll be on a whole new level. 

After the Game 3 win, Mitchell spoke about how he can be better and the support and trust he has from everyone around him. 

“My teammates and my coaches trust me. The ball’s going to be in my hands, and I’ve got to make the right play.”

Putting up points in the playoffs isn’t new for Mitchell. He always hits a new level when the postseason comes around. Over the past three seasons, he’s been one of the League’s most prolific scorers in the postseason. 

  • 2020: 36.3 PPG
  • 2021: 32.3 PPG
  • 2022: 30.3 PPG

The series is tied at 2-2, but one team will take the lead on Monday night. In December, the SLAM 235 cover star spoke about the Jazz’s playoff pursuits and how they need to “perform” when it counts.

“We’re a pretty good team, [but] we’ve got to perform when it’s time,” Mitchell told SLAM. “That’s no secret; that’s the biggest thing. We’re a good regular season team, and we’ve had success in the playoffs, but we haven’t had the ultimate success.”

Game 5 is set to take place in Dallas and will be just the second game of the series in which Luka Doncic suits up. At the rate Mitchell is going, the battle between him and Doncic will be spectacular the rest of the way. 

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