Snyder Contests Mitchell And Gobert Passing Controversy

Apr 5, 2022, 6:57 PM | Updated: 11:49 pm
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder looks on during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 26, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Quin Snyder addressed the Utah Jazz’s blown double-digit leads and the low passing numbers between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert that have become common narratives before his team hosted the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

After the Jazz loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, a stat made its rounds on social media that Mitchell had only passed the ball to Gobert 151 times this season for an average of 2.3 passes per game.

That number was used in contrast to Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young who has 152 assists to center Clint Capela so far this season to display a perceived rift between Mitchell and Gobert.

Listen to Quin Snyder’s full pregame conversation in the player below.

Snyder, frustrated that the stat was being used to indicate mistrust between the two Jazz stars, explained the number in percentages before facing Memphis.

“Out of 3,442 possessions he’s played, he’s passed to Capela 472 times,” Snyder said. “Donovan out of 1,600, he’s passed and Rudy 150 times. So those are roughly the same number.”

According to Snyder’s numbers, Young has passed the ball to Capela on 13.7 percent of their possessions together while Mitchell has passed to Gobert nine percent of the time.

It is important to note that the information Snyder was given about Mitchell and Gobert’s numbers together were incorrect. The two Jazz All-Stars actually played roughly 1,900 possessions together when including possessions when Conley was on the floor.

Whether that changes the number of passes Mitchell has thrown Gobert is unknown.

However, Snyder’s main gripe with the number revolved around the role Mitchell plays when he shared the floor with Gobert versus that of Young and Capela.

“First of all, Donovan plays with Mike [Conley], right? When Donovan plays with Mike, he’s not even the primary ball,” Snyder said. “So when Donovan and Mike and Rudy are out there together, what I’m saying is that those minutes, Donovan is off the ball.”

The Jazz coach then went further into the Jazz execution to explain why Mitchell’s numbers passing numbers appear low even when operating in the pick and roll with Gobert.

“[When] Donovan’s playing pick and roll along with Rudy, and he throws it to Bojan [Bogdanovic] in the corner and Bojan hits a three that doesn’t count as him passing to Rudy, that’s worth three points.”

Snyder was particularly frustrated that Mitchell was asked about the passing numbers earlier Tuesday during the team’s shootaround.

The guard noted he had seen the stat circulating on social media and addressed the narrative.

“It’s a wild stat — we have the number one offense, you know what I mean?” Mitchell said. “So clearly, we’re doing something right as a group.”

Snyder argued that the stat has been used to try to push Gobert and Mitchell further apart as teammates.

“Let’s not try to drive a wedge between some of these players,” Snyder said. “Especially using numbers we should be more responsible.”

Snyder On Blown Double-Digit Leads

Snyder also took issue with the running count of the Jazz’s blown double-digit leads resulting in losses this season.

That number climbed to 15 after falling in Golden State on Tuesday and marked the second time in the Jazz’s last three games that they held leads of at least 21 points only to come up on the losing end.

“I think we can all agree a 10 point lead in the first quarter is different than a 10  point lead in the fourth quarter,” Snyder began.

He then addressed the team’s winning percentage in the seven games that they’ve given up double-digit leads in the fourth quarter alone.

“We’re three and four in those games — 43 percent, Boston is 2-3, they’ve just done it five times, we’ve done it seven and they’re 2-3, so they’re at a 40 percent,” Snyder said. “I guess what I’m trying to say is, you could also look at this and say we lost the lead, right? We got it back three times out of seven, which maybe that means we’re resilient.”

Snyder’s numbers were also wrong on this stat as the Jazz have five games they’ve lost where they’ve led by double-digits in the fourth quarter this season.

The Jazz magic number to avoid the play-in tournament sits at two, meaning any combination of two wins or two Minnesota Timberwolves losses would guarantee them no worse than the sixth seed in the playoffs.

You can listen to Snyder’s full pre-game press conference in the player above.

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Snyder Contests Mitchell And Gobert Passing Controversy