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Last Night In The NBA: Watching Donovan Mitchell Sure Is Fun

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Happy Tuesday everybody and welcome back to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. Unfortunately, we had just two games on the schedule last night which is never fun for the day after recap since it won’t take you long to get through it and you’ll actually have to answer those emails you’ve been leaving in your inbox for about a week. Tracy needs an answer stop ignoring her. But before you do we should in fact talk about the basketball we saw last night because it was awesome. If you missed it, here’s what happened

Houston Rockets 119 vs Minnesota Timberwolves 100 (HOU leads 3-1)

Look 1 win in the last 14 years is better than 0 wins, so really Timberwolves fans can’t be that mad. This was by far the one matchup that felt most lopsided going in, and despite this being close for the first 24 minutes, as we talked about last night when it happened, there’s no overcoming a 50 point quarter.

It pretty much felt like HOU had decided enough was enough, and it was time to put these pesky Timberwolves to bed. Look I’m just a blogger who watches a shit ton of basketball, but I’m not sure how you beat a team that makes 16 3PM, and for 90% of the game has just 1 TO. If we’re being honest the Rockets didn’t even shoot the ball all that well, just 43/37%, but that’s why the playoffs are so good. All it takes is one outrageous quarter to make up for any issues. I will say that this was probably the most complete win of the series so fart for the Rockets, with 5 players in double figures, none of which scored fewer than 14 points. Every starter (minus Capela obviously) made a three, and despite getting dick from 90% of their bench, Eric Gordon still did his thing dropping 18 in his 30 minutes

From a defensive standpoint, this looked much more like the HOU team we saw during the year. People love to talk about their offense, but let’s not forget the Rockets 6th best Drtg during the year, and has the 5th best Drtg during the playoffs. How many teams currently can say they have the skill to be a top 5 defensive team and also the offensive firepower to drop 50 in a quarter? Probably GS and that’s about it.

Oklahoma City Thunder 99 vs Utah Jazz 113 (UTA leads 3-1)

Nothing, and I mean nothing is better than hearing a team run it’s mouth and then that same team finds itself on the wrong end of an ass kicking. After hearing how the Thunder were built for the playoffs and how Westbrook was going to shut Rubio’s shit down in Game 4, this is basically how all OKC fans feel right now

At the end of the day, it was the Jazz that are proving to not only be the better team, but they may a guy who is playing the best overall basketball in the series. Even though everyone knows who he is, you could say that last night was a bit of a coming out party for Donovan Mitchell. This was a big boy win, where in the playoffs everything is magnified, he dropped 33/7/4 on 13-28 shooting in a team high 39 minutes

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The one thing that really annoys me about basketball Twitter is that nobody can just accept that other players are good. Sixers fans want to discredit Mitchell because of Simmons, Celtics fans want to make sure nobody forgets about Jayson Tatum while the NBA world sucks the dick of the two ROY candidates, it’s all so exhausting. Can’t we just enjoy the fact that there is ridiculous young talent in the NBA right now? It’s OK for other teams to have really good players. Anyway, rant over. Watching Mitchell play last night and not only play well, but outplay a former MVP was pretty cool to watch. He in no way seems afraid of the moment, and if you were on Twitter while this game was happening you saw a common theme.

Donovan Mitchell is a bad dude.

But you don’t have a blowout win like this without some help. Rubio, Rudy, and Ingles were all awesome

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helping Mitchell and the Jazz finish with 45/35% splits, 12 3PM and just 11 TOs. All five starters finished in double figures and after a quick 6 point deficit after one, the Jazz never trailed again. It’s looking like a HOU/UTA series and I for one cannot wait for that. While I don’t think UTA has the offensive firepower that HOU does, the way they are playing, and the type of defense they have, that should be an incredible series if we end up getting it.

For OKC, it’s pretty simple. They’ve never respected the Jazz. You can tell it by their faces and body language. They thought they could just show up and walk through this series. The reality is, winning in the playoffs is about more than having flashy names on your roster. You would think a game like this would be one they were focused for, but it seems like the damage was already done. Finishing the game with 39/19% splits, where your Big 3 combine for 66 points on 21-57 shooting with 12 of the 14 team turnovers flat out stinks.

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It’s actually pretty incredible how poor OKC’s best players are in the fourth quarter, with no player averaging more than 4 points. Melo at this point if he isn’t making above the break trailing threes is basically useless, and while George has looked OK this series, now he will have to deal with all the shit about him leaving since the team is clearly underachieving.

One thing that didn’t make sense to me about OKCs game plan was their idea to just leave Joe Ingles wide open time after time after time. This is silly only because you know, during the year Ingles shot 44% from deep, and that’s up to 46% this playoffs. In looking at just wide open looks, he’s at 45.5% this playoffs from behind the arc. I’m no expert, but if you had to choose a guy on the Jazz roster to consistently leave open, Joe Ingles is NOT the guy to do it with. I will say some of those Westbrook fouls were suspect, but he still played 36 minutes and OKC did shoot more FTA so I don’t really see that as an excuse for what happened.

Obviously until they lose the 4th game technically OKC has a chance, but they seem like a broken team right now. A lot of the blame will be on Westbrook, that’s what happens when you’re a player of his stature, but with no Roberson this team was already going to struggle defensively. The bench honestly kinda stinks, especially when you’re relying on the likes of Raymond Felton. OKC is a weird team because they clearly swung for the fences this offseason, and to lose in 5 games in the first round certainly would be deemed a failure.

Also, next time, just let the dudes fight

And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back today with three more games including MIL/BOS, MIA/PHI, and SA/OKC. Nothing like a pressure filled Game 5 and a couple elimination games to get the blood pumping on a Tuesday. As always if you can’t watch just check back tomorrow and I’ll bring you up to speed.

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