NBA defenses have adjusted to Donovan Mitchell following his breakthrough rookie season.
The Utah Jazz guard says opposing teams are being much more physical with him.
Kevin Durant feels Donovan Mitchell faces more pressure in Year 2 than most NBA rising stars. “He’s one of those guys that’s built for it. He’s from New York,” KD said. Durant didn’t make the playoffs until his third season, while Donovan did as a rookie. https://t.co/x7Vssp5MMW
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) October 21, 2018
The 22-year-old finished with 19 points on 7-for-23 shooting Friday night in a 124-123 last-second loss to the visiting Golden State Warriors.
Per the Deseret News:
“Yeah, 100 percent,” Mitchell said. “More physical, they’re taking away my easy looks, and now I’ve just got to be able to hit tougher shots. That’s all it is.”
After blowing up out of nowhere as a rookie, Mitchell is now facing the pressure of being a franchise star. He’s now high on the scouting report and will have to find a way to adjust. Although Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant won Rookie of the Year in 2008, he didn’t have the same expectations for his sophomore year when the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder.
“See, it’s different now because all it takes is one game and people will hype you up. I think for Donovan, he played last season as if he were a veteran, but he’s still learning along the way,” Durant told the Deseret News. “I think so many people put so many high expectations on these guys after a good season or a good stretch, but I think he’s on that path of being a star. He might not be a MVP candidate this year or an All-Star, but who knows, he might be? I’m just saying he might not have those accolades his second year in the league, but I think as you keep letting him develop and grow, you’re going to get there.”