Donovan Mitchell Off To Quick Start In Return
SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell scored 12-points in the first 6 minutes in his return to Vivint Arena on Tuesday.
Mitchell did most of his work from behind-the-arc early, hitting three of his first four from long range.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 11, 2023
Mitchell was welcomed back to nothing but love from the Jazz players and fans.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 11, 2023
While the Utah Jazz welcome back a familiar face in Donovan Mitchell, they’ll be without several of their own when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mitchell returns to Utah for the first time since being traded in September of 2022 but will be met by a host of mostly unrecognizable faces.
The suddenly injury-riddled Jazz will be without three rotation regulars when they face the Cavaliers.
Jazz Without Olynyk, Sexton, Horton-Tucker
The Jazz will be without Kelly Olynyk when they take the floor on Tuesday night after the team’s starting center reinjured his left ankle on Sunday in Memphis.
Olynyk originally sprained his ankle in mid-December which caused him to miss four games around the Christmas holiday.
The 31-year-old had been back in the lineup for the Jazz for the last seven games before turning his ankle in the final minutes of the team’s loss to the Grizzlies.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 10, 2023
The Jazz will also be without Collin Sexton who will miss his fifth consecutive game and 12th overall due to a hamstring injury.
Talen Horton-Tucker will also miss the game due to an ankle injury. The first-year Jazzman was reinserted into the rotation in the team’s win over the Houston Rockets on January 5 but was sidelined again due to the injury after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Jazz Expect Warm Welcome As Mitchell Returns
The Jazz brain trust expects Donovan Mitchell to get a warm welcome when he retakes the Vivint Arena floor for the first time in an opposing team’s uniform.
Team owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge both shared their appreciation for Mitchell when asked about the former Jazz great leading up to the game.
“I think everyone should celebrate,” Smith said of Mitchell’s return. “We forget quickly that this is a kid that came out pumped life into this franchise and gave everyone all these memories.”
KSL Sports Exclusive:
Ryan Smith and Danny Ainge sat down with @JJSportsBeat to discuss Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson's contract, the upcoming All-Star game and more.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 8, 2023
Unlike many stars across the league, Mitchell never publically requested a trade away from Utah, even after the team moved All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mitchell led the Jazz to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons in the NBA, and Ainge said he hopes fans in Utah show their appreciation upon his return.
“It’s a great story, he’s continuing to get better, I remain a great, great fan of Donovan’s,” Ainge said. “I wish him nothing but the best and I hope that people receive him with great enthusiasm and energy and he deserves that.”
Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Broadcast
The Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers will tip off at 7 pm MT in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.
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