Donovan “Spida” Mitchell and the Utah Jazz play host to the red hot Phoenix Suns on the final night of 2020. The 2-1 Jazz come into tonight’s game after a thrilling Monday night win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 110-109, thanks to a Mitchell game winner. Led by sharp shooter Bojan Bogdanovic who poured in 23, Utah was also aided by 20 points each from both Mitchell and Mike Conley. Vital contributors like Rudy Gobert, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles are also imperative to the long-term success of Utah.
Shifting the focus to the Suns, it is quite apparent that they are no longer the “young, inexperienced, 2-3 year away” team. With franchise cornerstones, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton leading the charge, a veteran point guard by the name of Chris Paul is the glue that keeps it all together. The leadership and wisdom that a playmaker like Paul can bring to a tandem like Booker and Ayton is unmatched and will ultimately elevate both of their games tremendously. With others like Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Dario Saric filling out their rotation, the Suns will be a tough team to beat, night in and night out and is the reason they are sitting at 3-1 and at the number two spot in the Western Conference behind only the Clippers (4-1).
In one of the more exhilarating games of the season, Mitchell brought the Jazz back from a nine point deficit in the 4th quarter to ultimately win on a game winner with just seven seconds left. However, despite this, Mitchell has struggled a bit this season from the floor. Through three games this season, “Spida” is shooting just 32.3% from the field and 27.6% from three, compared to just a season ago where those percentages were 44.9% from the field and 36.6% from three. Whether he is “pressing” or defenses may have started to figure him out remains to be seen, however, it is not anything to be overly concerned about, just 3 games into the new season.
The Suns have also collectively been one of the best defensive teams in the league to this point. With lockdown defenders Crowder or Bridges likely to take the role of defending Mitchell, it could prove to be a tough night for #45 in gold. Currently, Phoenix ranks first in opponent’s points per game, second in opponent’s 3 point percentage, and 13th in opponent’s field goal percentage overall. Although Mitchell has had good success against the Suns in his career, expect the new look Phoenix squad to put extra attention on Donovan throughout this one.
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