by Daniel Olsen
Game 4 is in the books, and the Utah Jazz are looking to give the Memphis Grizzlies a gentleman’s sweep tonight at Vivint Arena. The Jazz won 120-113 on Memorial Day. It’s time to take a look at the events surrounding last game and look forward to tonight.
Donovan Mitchell is back
Stephen A. Smith said it best: Donovan Mitchell is Dwyane Wade 2.0. How ironic that Wade is now part owner of the Utah Jazz? While he didn’t score 57 points, this year Mitchell is finding other ways to help his team win. His efficiency and assists are up. He has improved every year since entering the league. After coming off an injury, he has gradually warmed up to the feel of the game. Hopefully, his 30-point night on Monday is a sign of greater things to come.
Mike Conley is unstoppable
Mike Conley should definitely be mentioned in the same breath as Mitchell. Is there a case for them to be known as the best backcourt in the league? The answer is yes. According to this article, they are the third best behind just the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns.
Mitchell and Conley are leading the team in points-per-game this postseason and combining for 48 on a nightly average. Conley seems to be scoring at will. There has to be some added motivation against a Grizzlies team that traded him for promising young pieces.
Although he had a quiet night on Monday, it was highly efficient as he made three of his four attempts from downtown for a total of 11 points on the night. He is proving that, at 33 years of age, he still has plenty left in the tank.
Dillon Brooks: The talk of the town
Dillon Brooks is trending on Twitter but not for reasons you’d expect. Jazz fans are having a bit of a roast party at his expense. The small forward for Memphis has been a thorn in the side of the Jazz due to his pesky and sometimes dirty tactics. They have come back to bite him at times as he has constantly been in foul trouble. He is averaging just over four fouls per game in this series.
Most of the tweets are not mean-spirited, but just a fun way to poke at a guy who is not the most popular in Utah right now. Jazz fans just want to keep their players from being punched, head-butted or otherwise disrespected. It is only natural that they accuse Brooks of eating yogurt with a fork, calling on full speaker at CostCo and, worst of all, making his email password incredibly simple.
Rudy Gobert is key
Be sure to read this in-depth article that previews three reasons why Rudy Gobert is crucial to closing out this series. While it is highly unlikely that the Jazz blow a 3-1 lead again, it is still imperative that they put this series to bed and avoid an unwanted trip back to Memphis.
Gobert has been lights out in this series. He has also been getting easy buckets down low. If Gobert can continue to be more of a two-way player against the tougher teams in the NBA, look out. He is averaging a career high 12.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks-per-game in this postseason. His points is not far off last year at 16 a night. Thanks to the re-acquisition of Derrick Favors, Gobert is doing this all on six fewer minutes per night. While it is an elimination game, expect Gobert to stave off a desperate Grizzlies team.
Featured image courtesy Justin Ford/ Getty Images