Houston • Joe Ingles kept shaking his head as Donovan Mitchell walked the media through his fourth-quarter putback dunk after Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Ingles finally was asked what Mitchell should have done on the dunk.
“His mid-air decision should’ve been to get back on transition defense,” Ingles said with a parental tone. “I guarantee you that’s in the film session tomorrow.”
With all due respect, film sessions don’t go viral.
Mitchell’s bounce-back and one-handed jam was at the front of every highlight reel from the Jazz’s 116-108 victory in Game 2. While the basket itself — another display of the reigning dunk champion’s rare ability — was fodder for discussion, so was the astounded reaction from the bench (and maybe a little bit from press row).
Mitchell held onto the rim for an extra beat, mugging for his teammates and drawing comparisons to a Chappelle Show sketch about Prince playing basketball. The rookie only fanned the flame with a show reference on Twitter on Thursday morning.
Dwyane Wade, the player with whom Mitchell most often is compared, tweeted a reaction as well: “I’m sure I’m no different than others when I say I love to watch @spidadmitchell play basketball!!!”
Mitchell briefly played up his “mid-air decision” but ultimately said Dante Exum’s slam, which came in the final minute was “bigger” from a team standpoint. Among his own growing catalogue, his putback dunk still ranks “pretty high up there.”
“I’ve had a few like that,” he said, “but that was pretty cool in the playoffs to be able to do that.”
Under the skin
Phone warranties might just be worth the money for Jazz fans. Everywhere you look, NBA superstars are swatting them.
The latest incident stars James Harden, who was caught on camera swatting a fan’s phone while walking out from the tunnel. The video, shared by multiple media outlets, reportedly was filmed by a Jazz fan who can be heard on camera calling Harden “the worst flopper in the NBA.” Harden appears to hit the phone before walking away and security coming up to the fan.
It wasn’t the only time Harden seemed frustrated. He seemed to lose patience as the Jazz worked to defend him throughout Wednesday’s game, drawing fouls in quick succession in the third quarter as he pushed around defenders.
After a reporter asked him if he had been “irritated” by Utah’s defense, Harden fired back: What made him think he was irritated? The reporter said he saw it in his face.
“I look like that all the time,” he said. “That’s just my facial expression. I think it’s the beard.”
Get your shirt
The Jazz again are offering T-shirt promotions for Games 3 and 4, including a City Edition giveaway Friday night and a Gold Statement giveaway Sunday night. The Jazz had similar promotions for Games 3 and 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.