The Utah Jazz bounced back from their Game 1 loss and beat the Memphis Grizzlies by double digits. It looked dangerous for the Jazz when their 22-point lead plummeted to just two late in the third quarter, but they righted the ship to even the series before going to Memphis for games 3 and 4.
There were plenty of moments to talk about during the game. Here are some of the topics people discussed on the national television broadcast and social media.
Welcome back, Donovan Mitchell
Mitchell missed Game 1 after the training staff held him out, leaving him upset with members of the organization. But he returned in Game 2 and got started very quickly.
Mitchell’s first field goal attempt was a long 3-pointer, which he swished. It had to feel good for Mitchell to knock down his first shot, and it felt equally as good for fans on social media to see it go in.
The TNT crew said Mitchell was the difference in the game, helping the rotation return to normal and allowing his teammates to get in better positions on the court.
“This is the year that Donovan might pass being an All-Star and be that superstar,” Kenny Smith said at halftime on the TNT broadcast.
Mitchell scored 25 points in just 26 minutes. His return got fans and media alike talking.
Rudy Gobert says ‘uh-uh’
Gobert is the favorite to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year. If he does, it’ll be the third time in his career he receives the accolade. He’s No. 1 in defensive rating in the league, has the most total blocks in the league and is second in rebounding.
But his stuff of Ja Morant’s dunk attempt in the second quarter might be reason enough to give him the trophy after the game. The internet practically went bonkers when Gobert blocked the dunk.
Mitchell to the locker room
As the Jazz were gaining separation in the fourth quarter, Mitchell went up for a layup and landed awkwardly. After he took a free throw, he checked out of the game and went straight to the locker room, immediately sparking speculation as to why.
It should be noted that during the broadcast, a possible minutes restriction in the mid-20s was mentioned in regards to Mitchell’s return.
Now for something completely different
Comedian John Cleese is known for two things: his work with Monty Python and his diehard Jazz fandom. Earlier this season, he pleaded on Twitter for tickets so he and his daughter can see them live. His wish was granted by owner Ryan Smith, and he received a Jazz jersey with his name on the back.
Now that the Jazz are in the playoffs, Cleese is at it again. Hours before Game 2 of the first round series between the Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies, the man who played Tim the enchanter and other rules in “Holy Grail” tweeted that he thinks the Jazz will even the series at one game apiece.
Then fans started replying. One fan said “Grizz are tough,” but Cleese had an answer on par with a veteran NBA analyst.
Another fan quipped that Cleese could get some minutes with the Jazz on Wednesday so long as both his ankles were up to it. Cleese had an answer for that, too.
By Cleese’s timeline, the Jazz could have another big man in its rotation by Game 5. That is, if a witch hasn’t turned him into a newt before then.