UTAH JAZZ

Mitchell Enters Offseason Better Prepared To Improve His Game

Apr 25, 2019, 2:16 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center ...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the wake of the Utah Jazz’s first round elimination from the playoffs by the Houston Rockets, Donovan Mitchell was honest when describing his performance in the postseason.

In short, Mitchell vowed that he’s “going to be better,” and he plans on getting in better shape for next season.

Retiring NBA superstar Dwyane Wade has already reached out to Mitchell on Twitter, suggesting that the two will be “in the lab,” working out together over the offseason.

It’s going to be a big summer for Mitchell and he and the rest of the Jazz know it.

Better Planning For This Offseason

In his comments with the media on Thursday, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey acknowledged that Mitchell didn’t have the best offseason last year, in large part due to a toe injury he suffered in the second round of the playoffs.

It also didn’t help that Mitchell, who had become a huge celebrity in his rookie campaign, had an extremely hectic schedule in the summer months.

This time around, things are going to be different for Mitchell.

For one, his schedule is going to be a lot more rigid. In his media exit interview, Mitchell said most of his first few months of the offseason have already been planned out.

“That’s really where it starts,” said Mitchell on the benefits of having his offseason plans mapped out. “Having a plan, having an idea of what you want to do. Last year, the whole year itself was unexpected and then you’re just there kinda just making trips and doing things because one, you want to be a 21-year old and enjoy your first summer being in the NBA and then you have to deal with the phenomenon of what happened this last season. It was just a lot to handle.”

Being hurt didn’t help either, said Mitchell.

Hard On Himself

Known for being notoriously difficult in his own self-criticism, Mitchell didn’t mince words when discussing his overall performance in the 2018-19 season.

“It was tough. I think if I had to say myself, I only had a few good months. That’s me talking to myself. I think there’s a lot that I can improve on and I appreciate the season in so many ways because through all the struggles I went through, through all the struggles we went through as a team, we had 50 wins, we were the fifth seed and we battled the Houston Rockets really good,” said Mitchell.

Team Chemistry, Potential Roster Overhaul

Remarking that he and his teammates were planning on going to see the latest Avengers movie later in the night on Thursday, Mitchell felt that he and his fellow Jazzmen really have formed a unique chemistry in the locker room.

“Guys genuinely care about each other,” said Mitchell.

With the uncertainty that surrounds several players and their contract situations, Mitchell’s supporting cast could see significant changes for the first time in his career. For the most part, the Jazz have made few changes in Mitchell’s first two years in the league.

He’s trying to keep a level head about it.

“It’s one of things that you look at and like I said, it’s a business. I love my teammates, I still love Rodney (Hood) and AB (Alec Burks), we still talk on a daily basis. I think that bond that we have is very special and I think it’s one of those that will be here whether you’re here or not,” said Mitchell.

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