Is Donovan Mitchell Being Overlooked As MVP Candidate?

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Seemingly every season the Utah Jazz are overlooked. They had the best record in the NBA last season, yet no one took them seriously as contenders. This season, it is more of the same.

The Jazz has the third-best record in the NBA at 23-9, trailing only the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls are also garnering more headlines than the Jazz, yet they just keep going along, blowing teams out regularly.

On the season, the Jazz has a 10.3 average point differential, which is only surpassed by the 10.4 the Warriors have. They have the No. 1 overall offensive rating in the NBA and No. 6 overall defensive rating according to Basketball-Reference. Their +10.4 net rating is second in the league.

As has been the case since he was selected No. 13 overall in 2017, Donovan Mitchell has been a driving force in their success. Much like the franchise as a whole, Mitchell is overlooked when it comes to accolades as well.

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Mitchell is a two-time All-Star and made the All-Rookie team for the 2017-18 season, but has yet to be named to an All-NBA team. That should change this season, as Mitchell is playing very well and should be garnering some MVP consideration as well.

Team success, whether you believe it should be or not, is something that voters take into consideration. Mitchell has that on his side, as the Jazz are one of the best teams in the NBA. But, it could also be seen as a detriment in some cases, as that means you have good teammates sharing in the success.

Utah is a deep team, but Mitchell still stands out. He has been dealing with a back issue that will sideline him for a few games, but he is playing well enough to land on some MVP ballots.

Mitchell is having the most efficient season of his career, thus far setting highs in effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage. The Jazz has an impressive +11.4 net rating with Mitchell on the court, which is 3.1 better than the team is with him off the floor.

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On the season, the Louisville product is averaging 25.4 points, five assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.8 minutes per game. The points and steals both lead the team and he is also in the top-20 of the league in PER.

While the media hasn’t discussed him as an MVP candidate much, Donovan Mitchell deserves to be talked about whenever the discussion comes up. He is having another great season for an excellent Utah Jazz team and is an integral part of their success.