Some legends are born; others are made. This NBA season has seen a little of both. Utah Jazz lead Donovan Mitchell and Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic have set the NBA on fire, and basketball fans are anxious to see what’s next for the next gen of stars.
Even though fans aren’t in the stands to watch the action live because of the coronavirus, those at home can’t get enough of what they’re seeing on the courts and this NBA postseason has proven to be one of the best in recent history.
NBA Mitchell Out To Make Statement For Next Gen
Awesome describes how Mitchell and Denver Nuggets power forward Paul Millsap competed for ball possession in Game 4. Mitchell was skillful enough to get what he wanted, and it’s evident that he is highly motivated. He is doing his best in the postseason, and, in that game, scored 51 points in Utah’s 129-127 win.
Mitchell commented about his performance during the game, stating, “That shot was a symbol of just what — not myself, but just as a team, what we wanted.” He added, “And we worked hard to get to this point. But the job’s not finished. And as good as this one feels, we won by two, and we’re on to Game 5.” Mitchell is proud of the tremendously great job the Jazz have done at this point, but the postseason is not over yet – Mitchell is the kind of player who can always give more.
In fact, Mitchell scored 16 of the Jazz’s final 20 points to be on top of a historic postseason duel. Denver’s Jamal Murray also did a wonderful job by trying to imitate Mitchell’s score, recording nine 3-pointers and scoring 50 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. According to ESPN Stats, this became the first time in postseason history that two rival players scored 50 points each in a playoff game and only the sixth time that it has happened in NBA history, so the next gen of players is looking strong.
Mitchell said, “I love hearing negative things [said] about me. The knock on me has been inefficient, not a team player, whatever it is. I pride myself on being a team player, on being a playmaker. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I am going to continue to do that. … Fifty is what it is, but I am more happy that I got seven assists.” Mitchell is aware that hearing such comments from people help him improve his playing style and reach a better level in the postseason.
Chances are that the Jazz eliminate the Nuggets on Tuesday in Game 5. The Nuggets won the first game in overtime, but they lost by 19 and 37 in Games 2 and 3. Denver coach Michael Malone changes his starting lineup for the upcoming games so his team is better prepared. However, it might be a little too late.
Doncic Proves His Worth
Doncic is also becoming a growing legend of the NBA next gen. On Sunday, he had a spectacular game, in only his second NBA season. Before joining the NBA, he was already a top performer player and, while he might still be viewed as an NBA rookie, he is one of the most prolific forces in the league.
When Doncic started the series against the Clippers, he achieved the highest-scoring postseason debut in league history. He recorded 42 points, and his career sounds as an all-galaxy superstar and he is still looking for ways to excel. In Sunday’s NBA Game 4, he took his next gen magic to the next level. Despite his sprained ankle and not having support of co-star Kristaps Porzingis, he was an out-of-control force against the Clippers, and faced two of the most suffocating stoppers.
Doncic was amazing over the 46 minutes he was in the game, scoring 43 points emphasized by his 17-rebound, 13-assist triple double success that is the stuff of which legends are made. All of a sudden, the Mavs are no longer just another team in the playoffs, but a team that is on course for a completely unexpected season finish.