Jazz

Gobert, Mitchell Ready to Affirm Their Belonging as All-Stars

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A few weeks ago, Shams Charania of The Athletic announced that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell would be reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

Both Mitchell and Gobert are deserving candidates as they are both having career seasons so far. This will be their first all-star appearance.

Why Gobert Made It

The case for Rudy has been evident over the past few seasons. Gobert has many accolades to support this claim. Gobert is the reigning two-time defensive player of the year, three-time NBA all-defensive team and a two-time all NBA player. If it wasn’t for Gobert’s contributions, the Jazz would not be as successful as they have been. Gobert is averaging a career high 14.6 rebounds per game, just under two blocks per game, and is one of the most effective rim protectors in the NBA. Along with being a great defensive player, Gobert is impactful offensively as well. Through 47 games played this season, Gobert is averaging 15.6 points per game on a league-best effective field goal percentage at 68.9%.

 

Why Mitchell Made It

For Donovan Mitchell, his case is just as strong as Gobert’s. Mitchell is in his third season and is having his best season statistically so far. Through 53 games this season, he is averaging 24.3 points per game on a very efficient 51.9 percent effective field goal percentage. Along with his scoring ability, he has also absorbed the point guard role a lot this season, as Mike Conley has missed 20 games this season due to a hamstring injury. Mitchell is averaging a career-high 4.3 assists per game, and is truly emerging as a superstar in Utah. To top things off, he’s only 23 years old, providing plenty of time for additional development.

How They Got to This Point

The road to the All-Star Game has been a long one for both Mitchell and Gobert. They are both workhorses, and this is evident to not only their teammates, but also their head coach, Quin Snyder. In an interview following the announcement, Snyder said, “They’ve worked extremely hard and that’s what jumps out to me“. Now in his seventh season, Gobert has developed his game each year to get to this point. He is one of three players in NBA history to play in the G-League and become an NBA All-Star. For Mitchell, he has worked very hard to silence the critics saying he should have stayed at Louisville for another year before entering the NBA. Regardless, both players have earned respect across the league, and are poised to enjoy the spotlight in a few weeks.

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game commences tonight at 8 PM ET on TNT.

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