Sunday, October 17, 2021

Analysis: Donovan Mitchell had another standout performance and now the Jazz hold a 2-0 lead over the Clippers

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The Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 117-111, to take a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals.

High Notes

  • I know that it’s my job to use my words but it feels like I’m running out of ways to really capture how impactful Rudy Gobert is. My handwritten notes taken during the game are full of things like, “Rudy’s footwork defending multiple people in the paint on one possession is so impressive…Rudy dominant again…Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” He just continues to prove why he has deserved every one of his three Defensive Player of the Year awards. He finished the game with 13 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and was a +14 when he only took five shots. Incredible stuff.
  • Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 37 points and it wasn’t even like he had a great game. That’s what is so impressive about Mitchell and what Jazz fans should be looking forward to. This isn’t Mitchell at his best. He had a lackluster first half in Game 1, made a lot of offensive mistakes in Game 2 and has still led this series in scoring. His best is yet to come.

“He’s just been an All-Star, All-NBA guy, really like an MVP for us. Hats off to that guy, man. He’s worked really hard to get back on this court as well with his ankle stuff and everything. He was great.” — Jordan Clarkson on Donovan Mitchell

  • When the game was on the line both Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson stepped up, moved the ball, hit timely buckets and just made great reads.
  • I guess Bojan Bogdanovic is an All-Defensive level player now. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he is on par with Royce O’Neale in how well he’s able to defend Kawhi Leonard. Maybe even better.

“What Bojan did should not go unnoticed. I mean he epitomized when you talk about a warrior with the way that he played on both ends of the floor.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Low Notes

  • Mitchell had two plays where it looked like he got hurt. By the end of the game after a collision with Paul George, Mitchell was limping and looked uncomfortable. After the game he said he was fine, even offered to sprint to prove it. He’s tough, but it wasn’t great to watch him limping around.
  • Rebounding was not as good in this game, turnovers were up and the Jazz were actually a little more sloppy than they were in Game 1. Luckily, the Clippers made enough mistakes that it ultimately didn’t matter. I think there’s going to be a little more to look at in tomorrow’s film session than there was after the first game.

Flat Notes

  • The Jazz were completely upended when the Clippers started playing zone. The thing that beats a zone is good ball movement and instead the Jazz kept letting the ball stick, didn’t utilize screens and played a ton of iso-ball. This is where the Jazz desperately missed Mike Conley.

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