I was trying to think of the last rookie to score 40 in a game, and I was thinking really hard, and the best I could come up with was when Brandon Jennings had 55. That was a long, long time ago, all the way back in 2009. And I was wrong. Stephen Curry and Rodrigue Beaubois (wut) did it also that year, but Blake Griffin did it a year after them. Still, there hadn’t been a 40-burger by a first-year player for six whole years. Enter Donovan “Hellmitch” Mitchell.
This game kind of has the feel of that insane Jennings outburst. A midget rookie going crazy while the other team can only watch. Not as ridiculously impressive, and not as utterly unexpected, but still an amazing feat. Mitchell had the crowd in a frenzy as he took over the game in the fourth quarter, after spending the rest of it alternating between dominating the Pelicans with drives to the cup and dominating the Pelicans with outside jumpers.
I bet he can go for 50 this year. No sarcasm, why would I be sarcastic at a time like this? Watching this video, and knowing how smoothly he can score the ball, it’s just a matter if he can wring enough shots out of the usually-regimented system of Quin Snyder. Normally I would chafe at the amount of isoing going on here, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for hero-ball one-on-one chucking. So does everybody, I think. The style of the early-to-mid 2000s of the NBA isn’t dead yet! The spirit of Allen Iverson lives on, or at least the spirit of Brandon Jennings.