Jazz coach Quin Snyder – explaining sitting Donovan Mitchell (ankle injury) for Game 1 of Utah’s first-round series against the Grizzlies yesterday – said, “In Donovan’s case, being the competitor that he is, always wants to play.”
That might have been an understatement.
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, sources told ESPN.
Mitchell has been out since April 16, longer than was initially expected. After he progressed slowly in the early stages of recovery, Mitchell began to work with his personal training staff on the rehabilitation, sources said.
The Jazz sitting Mitchell was certainly peculiar. They didn’t even list him on their injury report Saturday or early Sunday.
But I have a tough time believing there will be lasting tension between Mitchell and the organization.
He got over his feud with Rudy Gobert, after all. Mitchell has generally shown a great attitude and professionalism. Locked into a max contract extension for the next four years, Mitchell has only so much recourse, anyway.
Mitchell – who missed the last 16 games of the regular season – is clearly close to returning. He could play in Game 2 Wednesday.
Obviously, this situation is even more strained that it initially appeared. Mitchell working with his own training staff indicates distrust with the team. That can lead to significant discord.
But once he returns to the court, Mitchell will have an easier time putting this behind him.