Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell gives taste of what’s to come

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Warning to all halfcourt logos: Utah Jazz sniper Donovan Mitchell sees you.

Defenders already have the increasingly difficult task of containing Donovan Mitchell, especially his spine-chilling “Spida” crawl to the basket. Just imagine if the 24-year-old Utah Jazz phenom adds consistent “Steph Curry range” to his repertoire for the upcoming season.

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Well, judging from this weekend’s video evidence below, Mitchell appears to be making preparations this offseason to do exactly that:


Smooth. Effortless. Balanced. So far out. So potentially lethal.

How the Utah Jazz combo guard stacks up from 25-plus feet

The exact average shooting distance in the above clip is unclear. But seeing that his attempts look significantly more than five feet past the high school 3-point line (19.75 feet), it seems safe to say Donovan Mitchell is splashing — over and over and over — beyond 25 feet.

Last season, Mitchell took a considerable leap in becoming more comfortable from super deep. According to NBA.com, the second-time All-Star finished No. 9 in the league in average attempts from 25 to 29 feet. Here are the attempts per game and corresponding shooting percentages across his four seasons as a pro:

  • 2017-18 season: 4.7 attempts, 33.8 percent
  • 2018-19 season: 4.2 attempts, 35.8 percent
  • 2019-20 season: 4.6 attempts, 35.6 percent
  • 2020-21 season: 6.2 attempts, 39.1 percent

On the flip side, though, while Mitchell’s latest percentage from that range was commendable, it was outside the top 20 among those who averaged at least four such attempts. Steph Curry outperformed everyone with his 9.1 attempts while knocking down 42.7 percent. And Damian Lillard was the only sharpshooter in the same ballpark with his 7.2 attempts at 41.4 percent.

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Donovan Mitchell’s budding long ball and the Utah Jazz will try to build on an NBA-leading 2020-21 regular-season record (52-20) when they begin their 2021-22 campaign at home on Oct. 20 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.