Analysis: How Donovan Mitchell Gave the Utah Jazz a 3-1 Series Lead

The Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 120-113, at the FedEx Forum on Monday to take a 3-1 series lead in Salt Lake City for a Game 5 Wednesday night.

High marks

  • There was a spring in Donovan Mitchell’s stride on Monday that we didn’t see in Games 2 and 3. He spun a little faster in the corners, got up higher for rebounds and was more explosive in his. workouts. His 30 points, a game high, never felt forced or even obvious. He quietly led the game and the Jazz.
  • Mitchell is keenly aware of Dillon Brooks’ tendency to make mistakes and mistakes often. Mitchell caught several fouls on Brooks and counted the third and fourth fouls on his hand when they came against the Grizzlies’ top defenseman on the perimeter. The confidence, joy, and tenacity that come with that kind of attitude, even in tight playing, is something jazz fans should savor and love.
  • Royce O’Neale was aggressive, kept the ball alive, hit shots, defended well and was instrumental in the Jazz winning three straight games against this Grizzlies team. What impresses me the most about O’Neale is that he’s faster than he looks and he’s a great rebounder.

“He’s still a confident player, but I think his determination to be the best defensemen on the field, his determination to be the best rebounder on the field and his determination to go out there and make all the little games. .it is a big energy booster. for us at both ends of the ground. – Donovan Mitchell on Royce O’Neale

  • Jordan Clarkson had yet to be able to start strong in this series, but broke that streak on Monday, scoring 12 points in the first half and adding 12 more in the second half. Perhaps more importantly, Clarkson was able to come to life in the third quarter and gave the Jazz a little cushion that helped the Jazz withstand the Grizzlies’ final push.

“We know how Jordan plays, we know how important he is to us, what he brings to the table. Few teams have a guy who can go out there and legitimately net you 40 points in 30 minutes. He’s going to win us a few games in the playoffs. We know and trust everything he does. – Mike Conley

  • After a Game 3 in which Joe Ingles was almost invisible except for a single 3-point shot, the Australian looked much more intentional on Monday. Not only was he more involved and creating at a higher rate on the attacking side, he was engaged in defense. That’s the thing with Ingles, it’s great when he shoots from a 3-point field and hits, but he’s such an effective and valuable creator defensively that as long as he plays in himself, it almost doesn’t matter if he scores at a high level. rate, the Jazz has a lot of people who can score the ball. He just can’t fall off the map like he did on Saturday.
  • Mike Conley had a steal on Ja Morant and a 3 point on the other end that completely changed the game in the fourth quarter. It had a somewhat quiet night, but the Jazz were able to put this game aside because of Conley’s play in the fourth quarter.
  • The Jazz shot 48.6% from the 3-point line. It is really good.
  • Finally, the Jazz were able to contain Memphis’ ability to generate second chance opportunities, holding the Grizzlies to just seven offensive rebounds for the game.

Low Notes

  • The Jazz Monday’s first defensive option was much better than it was before in this series. It was the secondary defense that fell on points and was disappointing. Rudy Gobert or Derrick Favors or Conley or O’Neale had a ton of possessions where they played great defense, even Bojan Bogdanovic had a game where he completely stopped a Morant workout then whoever was supposed to help on the weak side or close on a shooter was often out of position or a step back. It wasn’t the whole game, but it just hurts after someone completely stops Morant or Brooks and then the assist defender leaves Grayson Allen open at the 3 point line. It takes a little more confidence and awareness on these second and third options.
  • Gobert came up for a layup, was fouled and before he even had a chance to hear the referee behind him whistled for play he looked at the base referee and was furious enough to hit the candlestick several times. He was heading towards the free throw line but his reaction initially gave Memphis a few free points. I can not do that. Just because you think the official closest to you isn’t the one who called the foul doesn’t mean you should lose your temper when leading a streak and about to win. to go up 3-1. Now is not the right time or the right reaction.

Flat Notes

  • Fans leaving a playoff game early never made sense to me. I’ve seen it in every arena and playoff game I’ve covered and just can’t figure it out. This game was single digit with less than a minute left. I understand that there are people who have to relieve a babysitter or have other extenuating circumstances, but that is certainly not the case with the crowds of people exiting arenas before the final buzzer. Do yourself a favor and Google Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 33 seconds or Reggie Miller’s eight points in nine seconds. Don’t count your team if there’s a chance.

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