Coming off a stunning Game 1 loss to the 8th seed Memphis Grizzlies, the top-seeded Utah Jazz are expected to run at full power in Game 2 as superstar guard Donovan Mitchell finally returns after missing 17 games.
Mitchell, who has been out since April due to an ankle injury, averaged 26.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in the regular season and his arrival will definitely boost the Jazz’s offense after a horrendous series opener, where the team shot 12-of-47 from the three-point line in a 112-109 loss.
Minus Mitchell’s scoring firepower in Game 1, the Jazz relied on Bogan Bogdanovic, who exploded for 29 second-half points, and All-Star guard Mike Conley, who put up 22 points to go with 6 rebounds and 11 assists.
Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson, the newly crowned Sixth Man of the Year, also chipped in 14 points.
On the other hand, the visiting Grizzlies, led by young star Ja Morant, did not show any signs of fatigue in the series opener despite coming off two huge play-in game victories against the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors.
In Game 1, playoff-debuting Dillon Brooks showed that he is much more than just a solid defender as he topscored for the Grizzlies with 31 points along with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
However, it was still Morant, also a postseason first-timer, who ultimately stole the show as he dropped 10 of his 26 points in the final period.
With momentum clearly on the side of the Grizzlies, will they continue their Cinderella run, or will the Jazz prove why they are the best team in the league this season?
Game time is 10 am on Thursday, May 27, Manila time.