He’s a determined lockdown defender
In a league that seems to overwhelmingly be run by flashy offenses and little defense, the Utah Jazz hold a completely different mantra. Their hard-nosed defense anchored by Rudy Gobert is quickly becoming their calling card and while that certainly doesn’t mean offense can be ignored, fans are definitely quick to approve of Utah’s talent and hard-work on the less touted end of the floor.
Thankfully, it appears that Donovan Mitchell is all set to buy right into that mindset.
Per a Salt Lake Tribune article by Kyle Goon, on the night Mitchell was selected by the Jazz, he had the following to say about his illustrious defensive goals:
"I want to work and be the best defender I can be. That’s how you earn coaches’ trust on the defensive end. A lot of guys can score 30 points, but can you stop the best player on the [other] team?”"
Make no mistake about it, Mitchell already is a phenomenal defender. That’s a big reason why Dennis Lindsey and Jazz brass were so high on him. However, he’ll still have plenty to learn before he’s ready to defend the best players in the world, but it’s incredible to see that he most certainly has the desire to do so.
As Utah looks to continue its reputation as one of the league’s stingiest defensive teams, having Donovan Mitchell as a wing-stopper off the bench or perhaps one day in the starting lineup will likely provide them with an incredible asset.