SALT LAKE CITY — "Oh, no!"
That's what everyone in Jazz Nation thought when Donovan Mitchell injured his ankle last week against the Indiana Pacers. Dreams of a deep run in the NBA Playoffs were fading when the All-Star had to be helped off the court.
But then the good news started to come in: X-rays and an MRI on his right ankle showed no structural damage, and he'll be re-evaluated later this week.
Mitchell has missed the last three games with a low ankle sprain, but he's been active on Twitter cheering on his teammates.
I don’t have anything else to tweet lol.... good win fellas @utahjazz 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾😂😂— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 20, 2021
Injuries are never good, but this might be a good thing for the Jazz.
This NBA season has been a grind. Teams are playing a lot of games in a short amount of time during this condensed season. The Jazz have the best record in the league with just 13 games to play, so maybe resting a star player could be beneficial for a deep playoff run.
NBA stars around the league take rest days, but it's not usually something we see with the Jazz.
Rudy Gobert has said many times he wants to play every game. But after sitting out his only game of the season last week against the Lakers, Gobert could see some of the benefits of resting.
"It's always tough to watch from the sideline," said Gobert. "It's a long season. It's a lot of games. The goal for us is to make sure we are able to be as fresh as we can when the playoffs come."
Resting star players also gives other players on the team an opportunity to step up in the big moments.
"Our team takes pride when someone's out and we have to all step up and play better," said Jazz guard Joe Ingles.
"Obviously, with Donovan out we are going to rely on a lot of different guys," said Jazz guard Mike Conley. "Just proud of the way we've been able to continue to be aggressive, continue to keep our mindset defensively, knowing that we are missing our main guy.
The Jazz are going to expect a lot from Mitchell during the playoffs. He is going to carry a big load. The Jazz are hope the rest he is getting now will give a little extra strength to get it done.