Utah Jazz Guard Donovan Mitchell Using Game 7 Loss To Nuggets As Fuel For Next Season

Oct 9, 2020, 6:34 PM
Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 30, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said that he’s using the team’s Game 7 loss in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to the Denver Nuggets as motivation for next season.

Mitchell and the Jazz fell 4-3 in a best of seven games series to the Nuggets in the opening round of the 2020 postseason. After defeating Utah, Denver went on to upset the No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers to reach the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets run ended against the Lakers, who are currently playing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

The Jazz guard recently joined ESPN’s “The Jump” to discuss the team’s playoff elimination and how he plans to use the result as fuel for his fourth season in the NBA.

“We actually just had a caller earlier today and I think the first thing we all talked about was that we’re not over it,” Mitchell told Rachel Nichols. “Credit to Denver and what they’ve done. Not just beating us, but beating L.A. as well. But we felt like we were right there. We had control of that series and we had a few mishaps that we didn’t have to throughout the series and we’re gonna look in the mirror and understand. Now we’re getting Bojan back. 20 points per game, which he does definitely helps. But we’re right there and I think we’re really excited for next season.”

Nichols continued by asking Mitchell if he watched the Nuggets vs. Clippers series and thought “that could’ve have been us.”

“100 percent,” Mitchell responded.

The Jazz guard continued by saying that he was able to learn from the players in that series and how he might incorporate some parts of their game into his own.

But he also said that ultimately watching the series on television instead of playing in it ticked him off.

“Those guys really did their thing. But at the end of the day it really kind of pisses you off,” the Jazz guard stated. “I’m not gonna lie, you know, where it’s like, ‘Man, we were right there.’ At the end of the day. That’s what it is. We’re right there. And you know, I think for myself, and a lot of the guys on the team, all the guys I should say, and coaches, we’re ready to go. Ready for the season to start next month if it had to. I think we’re fired up. I think that’s the proper mindset to have.”

Mitchell and the Jazz finished the regular season with a 44-28 regular and earned the No. 6 seed in the West. It was Utah’s fourth consecutive season making the playoffs. It was also the team’s second straight season getting eliminated in the first round.

The NBA currently does not have a start date for the 2020-21 season.

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