Donovan Mitchell: 3 early goals for the Jazz star in the 2019-20 NBA season
Every season in the NBA, there are a few guys who make the leap from being a very good player to an elite player in the league, and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz has a chance to be one of those elite few this upcoming season.
In order to reach that elite status, Mitchell should set some expectations for himself so he can have some things to strive for in his third season in the league.
Goal 1: Mitchell becomes a leader on the Jazz and applies his improvements to his game after his Team U.S.A. run.
Mitchell has spent the majority of his summer playing for Team U.S.A. with fellow young players. With the lack of veteran leadership and experience on the team, Mitchell has stepped as a vocal leader on the squad, trying to build chemistry by taking a lead and organizing team dinners for the group.
Jazz fans should love the fact that their 22-year-old star is already acting like a savvy veteran when around other players. Hopefully he can take that leadership to heart and apply his skills to the 2019-20 Utah Jazz.
There has been a trend in the NBA that after playing with Team U.S.A. and working with some of the best players in the world, their game elevates once they return to the NBA for the regular.
Mitchell should draw inspiration from the 2008 squad, as superstars Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard all saw their games drastically improve after that olympic title run. Hopefully for Jazz fans, Mitchell can see a similar jump this season.
Goal 2: Mitchell makes his first career All-Star appearance
After two years of being titled as one of the NBA’s rising stars, Mitchell’s goal should be to elevate his game more this season, to the point where he can earn a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team.
But pairing Mitchell up with veteran point guard Mike Conley should help elevate his game this season. The 12-year veteran spent a lot of time in Memphis making his teammates better, but he has never had a back court running mate as talented as Mitchell is.
With Conley looking for the former Louisville Cardinal and helping him get open, Mitchell should see a statistical jump from an already impressive 2018-19 season. If he can bump his averages up to about 26.0 points per game, 5.0 assists per game and 2.0 steals per game after improving defensively with Team U.S.A., he’s a lock to earn an All-Star spot.
Goal 3: Mitchell helps lead the Jazz to a top-4 seed in the west
As awesome as a statistical jump would be for Mitchell, he has always been a team-first guy, which means his last and most important goal for the 2019-20 season should be to help the Jazz to the playoffs and earn them home-court advantage in that first round series.
Mitchell has a talented team around, with a starting lineup of himself, Conley, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and Bogdan Bogdanovic and good pieces of the bench in Ed Davis, Georges Niang and Royce O’Neal. As good as that team looks on paper, they don’t have a lot of experience playing together and will have to build chemistry throughout the season.
Mitchell needs to be a catalyst when it comes to forming that chemistry. In order for the Jazz to make it to the playoffs and avoid a first-round bounce, Mitchell needs to not only make an elite jump in his game, but also play well with his teammates and be the star that they need to succeed come the playoffs in April.