Curry, Mitchell key players to watch in Warriors-Jazz


Steph Curry long has been a player who everyone knows can shoot the lights out and score an ungodly amount of points in one night. 

Do 62 points ring a bell?

Not many players can score with the ease that Curry does. But one player who can is Utah's Donovan Mitchell. 

Ever since he entered the league in 2017, Mitchell has been a pure scorer. But it wasn't until last season that Mitchell emerged as a superstar, or at least someone with clear superstar potential. Remember his two 50-point games against the Nuggets in the playoffs?

Curry and Mitchell — two of the best guards in the league — meet for the first time this season Saturday night when the Warriors visit the Jazz in Salt Lake City. 

As the Warriors continue to struggle to find consistency, both with their starting group and as an overall team, they will rely on Curry to be a steady force out on the floor. He is their most veteran player and their most important player. The need for him to be great only increases when going up against another elite guard such as Mitchell. It's also imperative Curry play well for the Warriors because James Wiseman will be dealing with Rudy Gobert, the best defensive center in the league.

Through 15 games this season, Curry is averaging 28.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists while shooting at 45.1 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc.

RELATED: Steph, LeBron have 'iciness' between them, Bill Simmons says

Meanwhile, Mitchell is coming off a 36-point performance against the Pelicans, after which Shaquille O’Neal told him, "You are one of my favorite players but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. I said it on purpose and wanted you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?"

"Aight," Mitchell replied.

We won't dive into why O'Neal said that or Mitchell's response, but the point is this: Mitchell always has played with a chip on his shoulder, and will continue to do so against the Warriors. His hard work and determination have helped lead the Jazz to a league-best seven-game win streak and an 11-4 record overall, good for third-best in the Western Conference. 

Curry might not be the one assigned to defend Mitchell. The Warriors also have Mike Conley to worry about, and Curry could spend the night stuck to his side. Kelly Oubre Jr. likely will be the Warrior assigned to take on Conley.

However, just because Curry and Mitchell won't be matched up against each other, it doesn't take away from the fact that each guard does will be vital for their respective team. 

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