Video: Jazz SG Donovan Mitchell gets Shaqtin’ a Fool moment after failing miserably on wide-open dunk attempt
Donovan Mitchell isn’t participating in the dunk contest this time around. As a rookie last year, the Utah Jazz star took home the trophy for his aerial antics on All-Star Saturday, outlasting a field of dunkers that included Larry Nance, Jr., Dennis Smith, Jr., and Victor Oladipo. Some were less than enthused by Mitchell’s performance, though, especially compared to that of recent participants like Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon. Is that why he’s not defending his crown in Charlotte this weekend?
Perhaps. Or maybe, as this horribly-botched self alley-oop in the Rising Stars Challenge suggests, Mitchell simply forgot how to dunk entirely.
— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴿᴵᴾ ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2019
It’s been an uneven sophomore season for Mitchell, who many believed had the chance to make his first All-Star game in 2019. While his counting stats are up across the board to 22.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, Mitchell’s efficiency has dipped, with his true shooting percentage sliding down to an ugly 51.6 percent from an average 54.1 percent as a rookie.
The Jazz have somewhat underperformed in 2018-19, too. Picked by some during the preseason as the second-best team in the Western Conference, Utah is 32-25, one game behind the Houston Rockets for fifth place.
Mitchell, thankfully, fared better on Friday night than the gaffe above suggests. He finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and five steals in the Rising Stars Challenge, helping the USA to a 161-144 win over the World.