Utah Jazz enthusiasts will get their wish, even if it is now a bit belated.
The Utah Jazz announced via Twitter on Monday afternoon that Donovan Mitchell will return for Game 2 after missing 17 games while recovering from a right ankle sprain he suffered during an April 16 home win over the Indiana Pacers.
Now, bear in mind that the franchise did not specify in the tweet whether “Game 2” actually refers to the current first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. And considering the confusion of late clouding Mitchell’s status (recap of that coming here in a minute), it’s understandable for Utah fans to raise sarcastic questions in response to this news.
But after watching the No. 1 seed Jazzmen fall at home on Sunday night to the No. 8 seed Grizzlies, 112-109, it’s safe to say that the squad in Salt Lake City won’t see any other Game 2 in these NBA Playoffs without the services of its two-time All-Star guard.
So let’s just assume — for now, anyway — that Mitchell’s return to action is truly on tap for 8 p.m. MT Wednesday when Utah once again hosts Memphis in the Vivint Arena.
Revisiting the Donovan Mitchell saga from the view of a Utah Jazz follower
On Thursday, Donovan Mitchell pointed out to the media that he felt healthy enough to play 48 minutes if necessary.
Fast forward to Saturday. Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder implied that Mitchell looked to be on track to suit up in Game 1 against the Grizzlies. Later that day, Jazz Nation was fully abuzz with excitement after the 24-year-old’s name did not appear on the injury report.
Then adding to the goosebumps, Mitchell confirmed after a Sunday morning shootaround that he was indeed “good to go” for that night’s matchup. However, roughly four hours later, the franchise went ahead and ruled him out regardless, much to the surprise and disgust of many supporters.
Following the defeat, several Utah players chimed in with varying levels of frustration themselves concerning the sudden decision to keep the sensational playmaker out of the lineup. Next, around 1 a.m. MT, Mitchell himself apologized to his fanbase with this tweet:
Finally, on Monday morning, ESPN.com published the following report from unnamed sources:
“Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was incensed at the late decision to scratch him from Sunday’s playoff opener, and it deepened tensions with the team regarding his recovery from a right ankle sprain…”
No worries. All is well now, right?