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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Donovan Mitchell freezing Rudy Gobert out of Jazz offense?

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are known to have an icy relationship, but that may now be taking on an additional meaning.

Twitter user Dustin Taylor shared an unbelievable statistic this week about Mitchell and Gobert — the former only passes to the latter (passes not assists) twice per game on average.

StatMuse added that the actual number is 2.3 passes per game from Mitchell to Gobert (roughly half of the number of times Gobert passes to Mitchell). Taylor also noted that Mitchell’s passes to Gobert have been going down consistently over the last few years.

We saw one clear example of that during Utah’s latest loss on Saturday to Golden State. On a crucial late-game possession, Gobert had deep post position on a smaller defender, only to be totally ignored by Mitchell.

While Gobert is not quite Hakeem Olajuwon down low, he is still a terrific roll man and has a nice touch around the rim. For Mitchell, Utah’s primary ball-handler, to literally be throwing him the ball just two times per game is pretty much inexcusable.

Mitchell’s issues with Gobert are well-documented, and rumors of strife between the two recently resurfaced again. With the Jazz having lost six of their last seven to fall to No. 6 in the West, it is fair to question whether the Mitchell-Gobert tensions are bleeding over onto the floor and negatively affecting Utah’s play.

Photo: Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports


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