His 3-pointer was falling and his passes were pinpoint. He scored more than 30 points in three straight games, all wins, marking a turning point in what his been a somewhat-difficult season.
And for his effort, the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell won his first Western Conference Player of the Week honor. He’s the first Jazz player since George Hill in early November 2016 to receive this recognition.
Mitchell was named Monday by the NBA as the recipient for the week of games that took place between Jan. 7 to Jan. 13. The second-year guard out of Louisville averaged 31.5 points, 5.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks in the four-game stretch, while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and 48.6 percent from 3-point range.
Mitchell helped the short-handed Jazz to a 3-1 record during the week, which began with a defeat at the hands of the Bucks, but which ended with three consecutive home victories, against the Magic, Lakers, and Bulls, respectively.
He has seven games of 30 or more points this season — three of which occurred last week. He has also earned praise for stepping ably into the starting point guard role the past couple games, as all three of the team’s regulars at that position — Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, and Raul Neto — are presently out with injuries.
Last Monday, Mitchell hit 6 of 12 shots from deep en route to 26 points and three rebounds in Milwaukee. On Wednesday, he made 12 of 21 shots, finishing with 33 points, seven assists, and four rebounds vs. Orlando. On Friday, he again had 33 points, and added a career-high-tying nine assists, as well as four rebounds and two blocks against Los Angeles. And Saturday, he turned in 34 points, six assists, and six rebounds vs. Chicago.
The 22-year-old is the 53rd recipient of the award in Jazz history.
Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.