Donovan Mitchell said he been in his own head after breaking out an early-season slump Wednesday night.
Mitchell finished with 38 points and seven assists, leading the visiting Utah Jazz past the Houston Rockets 100-89.
“I was in my head,” Donovan Mitchell said, admitting he was pressing during slow start to the season. Dinner and extra film with teammates Royce O’Neale and Ekpe Udoh helped him relax and focus on his reads. Result: 38 points, 7 assists in W over Rockets. https://t.co/q1UCbN7blv
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 25, 2018
The second-year star shot 34.4 percent and had more turnovers (10) than assists (nine) in Utah’s first three games.
“I was in my head,” Mitchell told ESPN after busting out of his slump with a 38-point, seven-assist performance in Wednesday’s 100-89 win over the Houston Rockets. “I didn’t get much sleep.”
He went to dinner and watched extra film Tuesday night with Utah reserves Royce O’Neale and Ekpe Udoh, two of his best friends on the Jazz, who echoed the message of the coaches and other teammates to relax and focus on making the right reads.
“The past few games, I’d been struggling because I’d been kind of pressing the issue,” Mitchell said. “I came into [Wednesday’s game] with the mindset of just finding the open guy. That was really my biggest thing. Last year in the playoffs, there were games where I got too deep or too whatever, just kind of not making the right plays. To me, just being able to make the right reads early just allowed me to settle down and relax a little bit.
“I always put pressure on myself, whether it was last year at the beginning of the year or whatever, just to be perfect. Obviously, that’s impossible.”