While the NBA Playoffs are still going on, they have come to an end for three former Louisville basketball players: Donovan Mitchell, Montrezl Harrell, and Terry Rozier. It’s great to have guys that play significant minutes for their respective teams. If you weren’t able to keep up with how they did or just don’t care to watch NBA basketball, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I watch it nearly every night, regardless of if our guys are playing, and regardless of regular season or playoffs.
Fifth-seeded Utah’s season ended in the first round as they ran into a scoring buzz saw named James Harden and the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets. They managed to win one game in the best of seven series, but that would be all. By that time, they were already down 0-3, so they would need to win four in a row. Wasn’t happening.
Donovan Mitchell averaged 21.4 points, 5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He also averaged 4.2 turnovers per game, up from 2.8 during the regular season. The majority of his numbers were down from the regular season, but that can happen when your season is so successful. Where he struggled the most, aside from the turnovers, was from behind the arc. During the regular season, Mitchell shot 36.2%, but only 25.6% in the playoffs.
I think it’s safe to say that the Jazz go as Donovan goes. Just take a look at how he did in their losses as compared to their one win or close games…
Game 1: Houston wins 122-90. Mitchell has 19 points on 7-18 shooting and has 0 assists. Not a good game.
Game 2: Houston wins 118-98. Mitchell has 11 points on 5-19 shooting, including 1-8 from three, and only has 1 rebound and 5 fouls.
Game 3: Houston wins 104-101. Mitchell scored 34 in this one, but he was 9-27 from the field. He did have 6 assists and 5 rebounds and the Jazz were in prime position to get the win. James Harden started the game a ridiculous 0-15 from the field. Then he scored 14 of his 22 points in the 4th quarter and the Rockets stole a win and completely took the momentum for the series. If Utah hangs on and it’s 2-1 and not 3-0, who knows how this one ends up? This was one where Donovan did play pretty well, aside from the shooting percentage, but it was too much James Harden in the fourth.
Game 4: Jazz win 107-91. So, in a win, what did he do? He had 31 points on 11-26 shooting and 3-7 from three, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Enough said.
Game 5: Rockets win 100-93. This one was not good. He had 12 points and shot 4-22 from the field, including 0-9 from three. He only had 1 assist and turned the ball over 5 times. For them to only lose by 7 tells me that if he plays just an average Donovan Mitchell game, they get the win.
Could Donovan have played better? Yep. Did he still carry the team and do the best he could against one of the best players in the NBA? Sure did. And I am not a James Harden fan at all, but the way he scores and gets his teams wins can’t be denied. Mitchell needs another star player if the Jazz are going to take the next step. I am just not sure big-time free agents can be lured to Utah. He may stay stuck in that 3-6 seed range as long as he is there. Another thing that can’t be denied is that Donovan has improved exponentially every year since back when he was in high school, so I can’t wait to see what he has in store for year three.
We knew what kind of player Trez was, and now the NBA knows. I have to be honest, I didn’t think his game would translate to the NBA. I didn’t think someone that is undersized at their position could just dunk their way through the league. Wrong. That is exactly what he is doing. He is also scoring with jump hooks, mid-range jumpers, and hustle plays, but it’s mainly dunks.
The Clippers lost 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors. The biggest storyline may have been Patrick Beverly and Kevin Durant battling back and forth, but not far behind that was the play of Trez. For the series, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He also shot a ridiculous 73% from the field. Mind you, he did this in only 26.3 minutes per game.
He had scoring outputs of 26, 25, and 24. Montrezl Harrell scored like that against the Golden State Warriors. I can’t really believe it as I type it. The games that he scored 25 and 24 resulted in wins for the Clippers. Again, just saying.
Needless to say, Trez made a name for himself in only one round of the playoffs this season. If the fans didn’t notice, some of the best to ever play the game certainly did.
Montrezl is a beast. I love watching him play!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 25, 2019
Can't do nothing but respect what @MONSTATREZZ brings to the table every night.— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 25, 2019
Rozier was the last former Card to be playing in the playoffs, but that came to an end on Wednesday night as the Bucks won the series 4-1 after getting smoked in Game 1. He only played 18 minutes per game and averaged 6.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.
His best game came in this most recent series against the Bucks in Game 1 when he had 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers. So yes, he played well, and the Celtics won.
Obviously, Rozier’s minutes were down because of Kyrie Irving. But if you have paid attention, it appears that Kyrie would rather play anywhere else on this flat earth than he would in Boston next season. Rozier is still under contract for next season, so if Kyrie does not come back, could it be Terry Time in Boston?
Honorable Mention – Damion Lee
Damion is not on the playoff roster for the Warriors--and I know most of you don’t cheer for that team--but if anyone deserves a championship ring, it’s that guy.