Following a Game 4 loss to the Houston Rockets, Donovan Mitchell’s frustration got the best of him, as he was caught cursing James Harden’s MVP antics, suggesting he only mustered a frontrunner chance due to his propensity to draw fouls.
Following the backlash and constant discussion on the matter, Mitchell was rather forthcoming about his opinion, having had a day to let the frustration dissipate.
“He is the MVP, rightfully so,” said Mitchell today when asked by reporters, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
The Utah Jazz shooting guard noted he’s now learning that there are cameras everywhere, even in the bowels of his home arena, as several reporters caught wind of his utter frustration.
Harden has shot over 1,200 more free throws than Russell Westbrook and even more than other physical, contact-seekers in DeMar DeRozan and LeBron James bin the last six seasons. His innate ability to draw foul calls has been a major reason of why he’s led the league in scoring this season, also leading the NBA in free throws made and attempted by over 100.
Yet Harden’s MVP-caliber season hasn’t just been about free throws, but also an improved rhythm, clutch play in the fourth quarter, and a much-improved supporting cast that was allowed The Beard to unleash havoc on opposing defenses — a skill that Mitchell has yet to learn with only one season of experience at the NBA level.