Donovan Mitchell is the breakout rookie star for the Utah Jazz that nobody saw coming. The No. 13 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft wasn’t ever in consideration as a top pick, and now, two games into his first playoff run, he broke Michael Jordan’s record for most points by a guard in his first two career postseason games by scoring 55 points. Jordan scored 53.
Donovan Mitchell has scored a total of 55 points in his first two playoff games, which is the most by a guard in NBA history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 19, 2018
The previous record holder is someone you may have heard of pic.twitter.com/m9Kidy5pNH
Mitchell’s efficiency may have dropped off in his second game (0-of-7 from three-point range), but overall, he shot 45 percent from the floor, making 21-of-47 shots. That’s unbelievable for a 21-year-old in his first season, carrying a team many counted out after losing Gordon Hayward. And, for comparison, Jordan shot 44 percent.
He’s hitting tough shots, too! Look at this spin:
With the Jazz tied 1-1 with the Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs, Mitchell is owed a lot of the thanks. He may not be the total package just yet, but he’s far from one-dimensional. He’s grabbed 16 rebounds in the series, in part because of his endless 6’10 wingspan, and racked up three steals. Despite handling the ball so often and having so little experience, he’s also only turned the ball five times. Jordan had eight turnovers.
Does this mean Mitchell is the next Jordan?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
But Utah got a steal with Mitchell, and his stellar rookie season may be the biggest justification for the Jazz’s reluctance in hitting the reset button when Hayward left.
As long as Mitchell’s around, it looks like Utah will be a threat.