By Shayden Smith
There is no way Donovan Mitchell is a rookie, right? He plays like he’s 28 and has already been to the playoffs multiple times. Honestly, I’m not even mad. He’s the first rookie since LeBron James to score at least 25 points and grab 10 rebounds in his first playoff game. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that the Thunder lost, but I kind of want to give Mitchell a hug. Is that weird? Anyway, the Utah Jazz came into OKC Wednesday night with a steaming serving of vengeance as they tied up the series 1-1, winning 95—102.
Oklahoma City may have lost this game, but there is a lot they can take away from it. The Thunders’ defense was impressive through most of the game. They may not have been hitting shots, but they did stay in the game with defensive intensity.
Russell Westbrook played his heart out, scoring 19, grabbing nine boards, and dishing out 13 dimes. I’ve missed calling him unhuman so I’m going to say he was out of this world, even though this was just an average night for him. Sadly, Paul George had a rough night with just 18 points off six of 21 from the field. I’m extremely happy he went off in the first game of the series, but what the Thunder needs right now is some aggressiveness in going to the rim. These crazy late-game threes are killing the Thunder. Also, can we talk about the name “Playoff P?” Not to be the immature guy here, but I still chuckle when I hear it. I’m laughing just writing this.
In all, if there are two things the Thunder need to take away from this game, it’s to attack the basket and get to the line and to make free-throws. The six free-throws the Thunder missed Wednesday night could have been the difference between going up 2-0 or being stuck at 1-1.
As tough as this game was to watch, can we all appreciate Alex Abrines? He didn’t really do much in this game, but he was there and that’s pretty cool. After reading this article, wherever you are, stand up and give Abrines a round of applause. He deserves it.