Jazz star Donovan Mitchell’s blunt statement on blowing 3-1 lead, taking bad shots
While speaking to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake City Tribune, Mitchell spoke about the Jazz blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2020 playoffs and his improved shot selection.
“We have good pieces to make a real push for this thing. We blew a 3-1 lead [in the playoffs] this year. I look at it as we need to find a way to get over that hump in the first round and find a way to push and get to a championship. That’s really on the forefront of my brain.”
The Jazz entered the first round of the playoffs having to face the Denver Nuggets, who were the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Utah had Denver on the ropes with a 3-1 lead into Game 5, putting them in position to advance beyond the first round for the first time since 2017.
However, the Jazz would lose the momentum in the series as the duo of Jamal Murry and Nikola Jokic would prove to be too much for Utah. Despite bowing out of contention, Mitchell averaged 36.3 points, five rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in the series.
He also shot an impressive 52.9 percent from the field and 51.6 percent from the three-point range against the Nuggets. Nevertheless, Mitchell continues to work with assistant coach, Johnnie Bryant, on taking better shots in the offense next season.
“There are times where I take bad shots. Being able to hear his honesty and let me know that it’s a bad shot — more than my teammates would — that’s where our relationship really had accelerated.”
Mitchell expedited his development last season, proving himself to be the leader of an up-and-coming Jazz squad. While the Western Conference is going to be ultra-competitive in 2020-21, Mitchell believes his improvements from this offseason can help Utah make more noise in the playoffs.