Utah Jazz vs Portland: Can the Jazz make it nine in a row?

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 9: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts during game against the Charlotte Hornets on February 9, 2018 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 9: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts during game against the Charlotte Hornets on February 9, 2018 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 9: An overhead view of Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz standing at center court during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on February 9, 2018 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 9: An overhead view of Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz standing at center court during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on February 9, 2018 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Donovan Mitchell needs to dominate with Rubio out

Ricky Rubio is likely out for the matchup against Portland Trail Blazers, which means Donovan Mitchell is going to have full reign of the offense.

We all know that Mitchell is an explosive scorer. As a rookie, he has already scored 40-plus in two games, 30-plus in six games, and 20-plus in 25 games. The kid’s good.

What is underrated about Mitchell, though, is his ability to facilitate. He has incredible court vision, and make passes that seem like they should be impossible.

This will be just the second time that Mitchell will have the sole responsibility of running the offense all on his own for an entire game. Rubio has only missed one other game this season, and that was way back on November 17. Donovan Mitchell struggled to score in that game, and shot just 5-of-15. He seemed to struggle with the balance between scoring and looking to set up his teammates. However, he did have eight assists and seven rebounds.

Mitchell will have to do much better this time around if the Jazz are going to come out on top.

Mitchell is often compared to a young Damian Lillard…just better defensively. I’d like to see him take this matchup personally, and try to show that he can top the three-time All-Star. If he actually can, the Jazz should be in a perfect position to win this game.