Much has been said about former Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell’s aversion to passing to Rudy Gobert off the pick-and-roll. Nonetheless, the Jazz posted the best offensive efficiency in the league last season, scoring 116.7 points per 100 possessions.
Now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mitchell is looking to reach an even higher level of pick-and-roll artistry, this time with Cavs center Jarrett Allen.
Donovan Mitchell has had only around one month and two weeks of time to get accustomed to Allen but he believes that the two are already greatly in sync with what each other is trying to do off the NBA’s bread-and-butter play. Spida also mentioned that his five years of experience helped him ease the transition to a new challenge in his career.
“I think it’s coming along very well,” Mitchell said, per Cleveland.com. “I think it’ll be quicker than mine and Rudy because I was a rookie when Rudy and I first started. […] But for me I think it’ll come easy because one, I’m better than when I first started with Rudy. I’m not the same rookie coming in. I have an understanding of where things should be. But I also have an understanding of bigs setting pick and rolls.”
“[Gobert and I] were the number one or number two pick-and-roll duo in the league. That’s six years of repetition. Obviously, J.A. and I don’t have that. […] It takes time, but J.A. is fantastic at it,” Mitchell added.
Jarrett Allen acknowledges that most of the time, being a roll-man on offense is a thankless job, the impact of which mostly going unnoticed on the box score. But the 24-year old center is all-in in making the lives of his ballhandlers easier. And the most crucial aspect of it all is communication.
“You can build that chemistry. It’s like anything with enough practice. You can practice anything on the basketball court. I feel like if you don’t talk about it with your teammate, you don’t build that level of trust and detail, and you won’t become elite at it,” Allen said.
The Cavs will look to push deep into the postseason in the 2022-23 campaign, and expect Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen to be at the heart of almost everything the Cavs do on offense.