Donovan Mitchell had a magnificent start to his playoff career in Cleveland as he led all scorers in game one of the Cavs’ first-round series against the New York Knicks, dropping 38 points, albeit in a losing effort. Despite falling into a 0-1 hole and losing home-court advantage, Mitchell still managed to join an elite group of great players with his performance. Only six players have scored more than Mitchell’s 1,143 in their first 40 career postseason games.
The company “spidamitchell” is keeping these days is legendary status. Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Allen Iverson, Oscar Robertson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to score more points than Mitchell in their first 40 NBA playoff games. That’s one hell of an accomplishment for a player no one expected to be as good as he’s been coming out of Louisville.
Mitchell has been in the postseason every year of his career thus far. In his six appearances, he’s never averaged less than 21 points per game. During the Orlando bubble, Mitchell really broke out, averaging 36.3ppg in the one series Utah participated in during the 2020 playoffs. The Jazz lost to the Denver Nuggets in seven games, but Mitchell did his part.
Eventually, Mitchell will need to add a lengthier postseason run with similar numbers. But for a guy in his sixth year to be on this type of list with those legendary names is quite an accomplishment.