Donovan Mitchell practiced with the Utah Jazz for the first time since spraining his ankle during a game last month and said that he hopes to be able to play in game 1 of the team’s upcoming series.
“That’s the goal,” Mitchell told reporters when asked if he’ll be ready to play in the first round.
Getting Mitchell back would be a massive boost for Utah, as the young guard was averaging career highs in points (26.4) and assists (5.2) this season before missing the last month due to the ankle sprain. The Jazz was able to hold on to the no. 1 seed despite Mitchell’s absence and will play the winner of the Golden State-Memphis play-in game.
There is certainly pressure for Utah in these playoffs, as the Jazz have consistently been one of the more impressive teams in the regular season over the last few years but that has not translated into postseason success. The team has not made it past the second round each of its last four playoff trips and has been eliminated in the first round in consecutive seasons.
But with a healthy Mitchell returning just in time, Utah looks like a real contender in the loaded Western Conference.