Coming into the NBA Playoffs, the Utah Jazz and their star rookie Donovan Mitchell were playing with house money. Mitchell already put together an NBA ROY-worthy season, and even though the Jazz had earned the 5-seed and had a good enough team to compete with Oklahoma City, most of us expected the Thunder to advance in a hard-fought series.
Fast forward 10 days and the Jazz found themselves leading the series 3-1, dominating in all three consecutive victories after a game one loss in OKC. Suddenly, the Jazz were now the favorite, and with Mitchell backing up his fantastic rookie year with an even better playoff performance (26.6 points per game), Utah was skating into round two. On Thursday night, it quickly became a foregone conclusion when the Jazz took a commanding 25-point lead in a close-out game five. Then Russell Westbrook happened.
As we now know, the Jazz went on to collapse in epic fashion, and that house money has now shifted into mounting pressure as they head back home for game six. If there wasn't enough pressure, Mitchell added a ton of fuel to the fire on his way to the locker room, and a fan was able to catch his bold claim on camera. Here's Mitchell implying Thunder fans don't need to purchase any game seven tickets:
Bold, Donovan, bold! Especially after melting down up 25 points. To be fair, he likely didn't know he was on camera, and that it would go viral, and that we'd all overreact, blow up his spot, etc. etc. But you still have to like the confidence if you're a Jazz fan. The way he's performed this postseason, it feels like a safe bet that Mitchell & co. finish off OKC at home, but the pressure's on now.