The Utah Jazz are currently the best team in the NBA.
Yes, you read that right. After years of being a mediocre team in the West, Utah is now looking like a legitimate contender for the Larry O’Brien trophy this season.
In January, the Jazz won 13 out of their 16 games. They went on an 11-game win-streak that had wins over multiple playoff contenders like Denver, Dallas, Golden State and Milwaukee.
Since entering February they’ve now won five in a row and have won 16 out of their last 17 games.
Multiple reasons can be credited to their success, as they’ve been playing well as a whole.
However, at the center of it all one-man has elevated his game from being an All-Star to a potential MVP-worthy campaign.
Donovan Mitchell, in the last couple of weeks, has been one of the best players in the league.
In January, he averaged 23.3 points in 45.2% shooting from the field and 42.4% shooting from the three-point line along with 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
During their 11-game win-streak, the 24-year-old explosive guard averaged 25.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists in 60.7% shooting from the field in the nine games that he played.
During the hot run, he dropped multiple big games including a 32-point explosion against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. He also had a season-high 36-point outburst along with seven rebounds and five assists versus New Orleans.
After that game, Mitchell and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal had an interesting conversation.
This month, after having their 11-game win-streak snapped, Utah bounced back and have won five-straight games and Mitchell has been leading them with averages of 28.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.2 steals on 48.0% shooting from the field and 51.2% shooting from the deep.
In their most recent game, Mitchell dropped 36 points, four rebounds, nine assists, one steal, and two blocks against Boston.
After the game, O’Neal once again challenged Mitchell to now become greater with his teammates.
Mitchell has certainly been playing at an MVP level and he deserves to be in the conversation. He does have stiff competition this season though, especially from big men Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, who are proving that the center position isn’t dead in the modern NBA. Additionally, LeBron James is always in the MVP conversation, especially since he’s still playing at an elite level this late in his career.
Is Mitchell an MVP-worthy player? Sound off in the comment section!