71 Reasons to Enjoy Donovan Mitchell

Plus, Giannis drops a new career high

Hey Enjoyers! New Year's resolutions still alive? Let's say yes. And if not, Donovan Mitchell gave us 71 awesome reasons to keep striving for greatness!

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King of the East: The best player in the East dropped a new career high...

Kings of the West: The Sacramento Kings escape Utah with a chaotic win...

Spida's 71: Donovan Mitchell gave us an all-time great performance...

In an NBA game, would you rather...

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Yesterday's Games

Giannis casts career-high at Wizards

Exceptional performances seem to be regular this week, but we need to appreciate greatness as it’s happening! Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped a career-high 55 points in a 123-113 win against the Wizards (17-22). It was a back-and-forth contest, but the Bucks (24-13) pulled away in the fourth quarter through a combination of stifling defense and physical Giannis slashing.

It's Giannis' third consecutive game of 40 points, and he is truly in his zone. He even hit 15 of 16 free throws tonight! The Greek Freak's ability to dominate on both ends is something we haven't seen since ... prime LeBron? Hakeem? Regardless, please treasure this greatness.

Kings capture win over Jazz in last-second fiasco

This contest between two overachieving teams came down to the wire. Lauri Markkanen hit three free throws to tie it up with 16 seconds left, then De'Aaron Fox hit a swift layup with 0.4 seconds remaining. With Sacramento celebrating, Markkanen caught a full-court outlet pass and sunk a fading jumper ... but instant replay called it off, and the Jazz walked away with the W 117-115. Take a look at the chaos:

Markkanen finished with 28 points, while Swipa the Fox poured on 37 of his own. With this loss to the Kings (20-16), the Jazz (19-21) concede their fifth consecutive game by five points or less. In the best league in the world, the elite squads have got to close games. Still, we loved this nail-biter!

Short-handed OKC blows doors off Celtics

What do you call David vs. Goliath but … more? The Thunder, without Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, defeated the #1-seeded Celtics (26-12). And it wasn’t even close! Oklahoma City (16-21) hung 74 points in the first half for a 20-point lead and never looked back.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 57 points, but it wasn't enough to counter the Thunder's offensive explosion. OKC shot 20-40 from three-point range, and five players scored 20+ points!

Monday Night Notes

This NBA season gifted us another historic performance as Donovan Mitchell scored 71 POINTS in an overtime victory over the Bulls. Insanely, Spida added 11 assists: the first ever 70+ point, 10+ assist game in NBA history. Interestingly enough, the three players with 70+ point games in the 21st century are Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Kobe Bryant: all shooting guards drafted 13th overall! Now, watch every beautiful moment of greatness here:

If that wasn't enough bucket-getting for you, Klay Thompson scored 54 points in a vintage effort capped off by a Kevon Looney game-winner tip-in! Also, LeBron James continued his monstrous tear with 43 points in a triumph over the Hornets!

NBA History Spotlight

In 2018, the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Mikal Bridges with the 10th overall pick, and it should have been perfect. Bridges grew up in the Philly area, attended nearby Villanova University, and his mom even worked for an HR firm that hired for the franchise. 

In hindsight, wouldn't Mikal be a perfect 3-and-D fit alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid? Instead, he was traded on draft night for Zhaire Smith and a Miami Heat 2021 first-round pick. Since then, in addition to becoming an elite defender and three-point shooter, Bridges has evolved into the best iron man in recent history. He's played in every Phoenix Suns game since that draft night. The kid from Philly is like that!

Good Reads

Donovan Mitchell’s 71 Reminds Us Why He Was Worth All Those Chips - Michael Pina (The Ringer)

Fresh Trade Target List for Every NBA Team - Zach Buckley (Bleacher Report)

What We're Enjoying

Letterboxd: The trending movie-centric app lets us rate films and share reviews with friends. Avengers Infinity War? Five stars. Mean Girls? Also five stars.

Welcome to the Internet: We stumbled back upon Bo Burnham's classic, which pokes fun at internet culture in a catchy, funny way.

Signing Off

That's a wrap! We hope you Enjoyed the teams, dreams, and memes and take a bit of that joy with you today!

Trivia Answer: California is the state that has produced the most active NBA players, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Damian Lillard, and James Harden!

Trivia Question: Since 1990, which player averaged the most points per game in a rookie season?

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