Should Jazz Fans Be Concerned About Injury to Donovan Mitchell?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Donovan Mitchell will miss his second game in three outings with a leg injury when the Utah Jazz face the Dallas Mavericks. Mitchell is suffering from a left leg peroneal strain which caused him to miss Thursday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
The All-Star guard was listed as questionable before the team’s double-overtime loss against the Denver Nuggets and was ruled out against Dallas early Monday morning. Jazz coach Quin Snyder addressed Mitchell’s injury before the Mavericks game.
“You can’t minimize it,” Snyder said. “This is a guy who we rely on for so many things and you know I said it before, we want him, not just healthy but 100 percent.”
Mitchell is the Jazz leading scorer this season at 24.2 points per game. The team entered the Orlando bubble without second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic, leaving the team without its top two scorers.
While Snyder expressed concern over Mitchell’s injury, the Jazz guard didn’t appear to be on a minute limit in the Jazz loss on Saturday. Mitchell played 47 minutes for the Jazz, a season-high for any player on the roster this season, including all 10 minutes over overtime.
“I don’t think anybody anticipated a double-overtime game,” Snyder said. “I know we didn’t go into the game thinking our guys we’re going to play that that many minutes. When you do play that many minutes, particularly back to back, it takes a toll on you.”
If Mitchell is still feeling less than 100 percent, the Jazz would have the opportunity to rest the guard for more than a full week before the postseason begins by resting him against San Antonio.
“If you’re banged up and you don’t have guys available,” Snyder said, “It’s tough to win in the playoffs.”
Opportunity for Miye Oni
The injury to Mitchell means more opportunity for Jazz rookie guard Miye Oni. The Yale product has seen his first significant NBA minutes inside the NBA bubble and has been a steady addition to the lineup.
Oni is averaging 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game in three appearances in Orlando. The guard spent most of the season bouncing between the Jazz main roster and the Salt Lake City Stars G League roster before Bogdanovic’s injury opened up additional playing time.
Oni has knocked down an impressive 50 percent of his three-point shots on 2.7 attempts per game in Orlando. The rookie recorded career-highs of 14 points and seven rebounds in Thursday’s loss to the Spurs.
“The San Antonio game was an opportunity for both Miye and Jarrell Brantley to get meaningful minutes,” Snyder said. “The opportunity for us to make sure some guys were healthy also gave us a chance to evaluate our bench. And a week later we’re sitting here talking about Miye.”
The Jazz and Mavericks tip-off at 1 pm MT. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBATV and locally on AT&T SportsNet.
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