Donovan Mitchell is on the verge of becoming a top-5 player in the NBA. With the growth and maturity he’s shown the past few years, there’s no denying that he’s elevated his game to new heights. Although he is a rising star, he is still a little rough around the edges and has a few noticeable holes in his game that can easily be fixed with the right amount of time and work put in. On that note, let’s take an in-depth look at 2 things Mitchell can take out of Dwayne Wade’s playbook to become a better player.
On several occasions in the past few postseasons, Donovan Mitchell has had a tendency to run the ball up the court and go so fast that it doesn’t give the rest of the team an opportunity to catch up with him. In turn, this results in a turnover, and the more he does it over time the more it accumulates and eventually could hurt the Jazz.
This happened a few times last season when the Jazz blew a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. He forced bad shots, made sloppy passes, and ran the ball up the court so fast that he blew an open layup and didn’t give his teammates a chance to catch up with him. This resulted in at least a dozen turnovers and Utah not making it out of the first round.
This postseason there seems to be a different version of him on the court, but in last night’s close game against the Clippers, Donovan Mitchell did force up some bad shots and rush them on a few later possessions that led to easy buckets on the other end. These are all areas he must improve in if he wants to become more clutch and reliable in crunch-time scenarios.
This is where his mentor and part-owner of the Jazz can come into play and really show him the ropes on what it takes to be a clutch guard in this league. After all who better to show him the way than a 3-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer?
Wade had mastered the ability to think proactively in high-pressure situations and always make the right play for either himself or his teammates during many deep postseason runs. His clutch scoring and playmaking over the years were nothing short of spectacular and were also very consistent. This is something he can pass on to his protégé and rising NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell.
More Dominant Two-Way Play
Over the course of his playing career, Dwyane Wade didn’t just become a master of the mid-range, but he was also a dominant defensive player. So much so that he became the first guard in NBA history to lead the league in blocks multiple times. That kind of defensive effort from a scoring guard is truly hard to find, but it’s something he could help Mitchell add to his game. Incorporating this to Donovan Mitchell’s arsenal could make him the next great shot-blocking guard of the NBA.
If he dominated from the mid-range and was able to deny players regularly by way of chase down blocks or rejected baseline floaters and layups, then he would truly take his game to the next level. The scariest part about this is that he’s not far off from getting to that point, but with one of the greatest shooting guards of all time in his corner, Donovan Mitchell really could take his game to even greater heights and sooner than people realize.