He averages 20 points a game and about 11 of them usually come in the final quarter. He makes ferocious dunks that end up appearing on SportsCenter Top 10 plays. He hits clutch three point shots on the road which has given the Jazz a franchise record 12 game road winning streak. Who is this rookie? He’s just your friendly neighborhood Spider Mitchell.
Donovan Mitchell knew he was good but even he didn’t know he’d be this good. The Jazz saw potential in him after he first worked out with the team. Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey said that he would have fired anyone in the organization who divulged the secret of Mitchell’s talent.
Peter Parker was just a regular boy. Donovan Mitchell was the same. He didn’t have the physique of LeBron James. He wasn’t a world beater at Louisville. A lot of teams slept on him. The Nuggets traded him to the Jazz for Trey Lyles and some guy named Tyler Lydon.
Once the Jazz acquired this guy fans immediately began to search for Donovan Mitchell on Twitter. They found the handle @spidamitchell. Summer league started and thus a superhero was born. It took a spider bite to turn Peter Parker into a superhero. For Donovan he just needed a system where he could show just how great he really was.
Spider Mitchell first started turning heads in Summer League where he was the points per game leader in the Las Vegas league at 28 points per game. Mitchell’s powers consist of jumping really high, splashing threes to snap the webbed nets of basketball hoops and shutting down opposing guards on defense. He has so much energy that he tweets “Let’s go!” before every game.
Spiderman’s talents consist of jumping, defending New York City, and using spider nets as weapons and tools to swing from buildings and save busses. They are both different roles but Donovan Mitchell is just as important to the Utah Jazz as the fictional character of Spiderman is to the world. Spiderman saves the world from bad guys. Spider Mitchell saves the Jazz from the NBA Lottery purgatory amidst the departure of a former player that will henceforth be called Haywood.
It takes a lot of talent to produce a win streak. It takes even more talent to produce a historic finish to a season where they started 19-28 and proceeded to string together an 11 game win streak shortly followed by a 9 game one. They also improved from the leagues worst road team to be an elite one. Averages NBA players don’t grow this much their rookie year. The Jazz have given Donny the reins to make mistakes and the quick rate at which he learns from them is why he succeeds at a pace seen by only rookies like Michael Jordan.
Don’t believe it? Check the numbers. He is right behind Klay Thompson as the 10th best real plus minus among shooting guards. Klay is a four time NBA All-Star and two time NBA Champion. Mitchell is just getting warmed up. He just passed Stephen Curry in rookie three point shots made. He is just 16 shy of Damian Lillard’s rookie record.
Yes this Spider might not be as successful without Rudy Gobert’s defense but on the other hand would Rudy have this amount success without an offensive creator like Mitchell? That remains to be seen but it’s hard to argue that Mitchell will be counted on to be the offensive and defensive superhero for the Jazz for the foreseeable future. Will he always be the heroic Spider seen in the first two movies? Will he ever hit the Dark Side like Spiderman 3?
Nobody knows but for now the honeymoon period isn’t over for this happy heroic rookie. If he takes the Jazz to the playoffs he will have quite the one year anniversary with this team. His love for the Jazz and the state of Utah might put Mary Jane’s love for Peter Parker to shame.