Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell admitted that he was upset and frustrated after being forced to sit out Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Mitchell, who has been out since April 16, was expected to play in Game 1 against the Grizzlies but Jazz medical staff ruled him out of the game.
The first-seeded Jazz ended up suffering a 112-109 loss to the eighth-seeded Grizzlies in Game 1. "For me, for my team, I was definitely frustrated and upset that I wasn't able to play," said Mitchell, per ESPN.
"I'm a competitor. I felt I was ready to go. I felt ready to go, and unfortunately, that wasn't the case. That was not how it happened. I was ready to go when I spoke [to media after Sunday's shootaround], and they came to the decision that that's what it was.
"The biggest thing for us is moving forward. We lost Game 1, and we've got s--- to handle. Excuse my language, we've got s--- to handle moving forward."
Mitchell thought he should have played
"The biggest thing is I felt like I should have played," said Mitchell, adding that he didn't suffer any setback to influence the medical staff's decision.
"To be honest with you, it's no secret. We all know that. At the end of the day, the experts said no. We can disagree on those things, but that was the frustration. "It was unfair to my team. I felt like, man, I let them down in the sense that you're not there for them in a playoff game.
That probably hurts me more than anything else. It eats me. I barely slept because you think about that stuff. So, that was really where it hit me, where it hurt." Mitchell has nothing but great love and respect for his teammates.
"I talked to just my teammates and I said, 'Look, we're in here together,'" Mitchell said. "I don't know if I should have shared that, but that's what it is. We're in here together. I want them to know -- my teammates first, before anything else -- that that's what it is."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder wants his team to leave it all behind them and focus on Game 2. "My focus is the team, and to the degree, there's certain things where you just move forward," Snyder said. "I think that's where we are now.
If you watch 'Ted Lasso,' sometimes your favorite animal is the goldfish because it has a memory of 10 seconds, and that's where we need to be. We need to be moving forward and thinking about Game 2."