NBA 2017-18 Season Comparison: Donovan Mitchell vs Dwyane Wade
It is mainly due to the star rookie's relentless attacking mentality and athletic finishing, that he has often found himself in juxtaposition with the future Hall of Famer D-Wade. And the Heat legend has shown at multiple instances that he approves of that comparison too.
The great Kobe Bryant drew frequent comparisons of Donovan's game to a specific version of Dwyane Wade's, the 2006 NBA Finals version. Miami beat Dallas in six games to lift the NBA title and Wade was the Finals MVP. Those are some big shoes to fill for a rookie. But when one of the all-time greats to play the game says so, you listen.
Apart from an unceasing will to hustle, there are many similarities in the ways they both approach the game and the consistent maneuvers they deploy to get by defenders. Both Donovan & Wade use an overhead gather to protect the ball while driving to the rim.
Another notable parallel can be found in Mitchell's inside hand layups which look similar to the ones D-Wade employed in his prime. The way Mitchell has incorporated the Euro Step into his game shows resemblance to the manner in which it has meshed deep into the 3-time Champion's game as well.
The numbers from the last season are somewhat tipped in the Spider's favour. But then again, one was playing his first season while the other his 15th and was on the verge of retirement.
Shooting guard Dwyane Wade has a career average of almost a block per game, and so it's no surprise that he has a significant advantage over the youngster in this field. Where he does seem to be slowing down noticeably is his ability to make the right pass as well as steal the ball.
He averages 5.5 assists over his 15 seasons long career but could only salvage 3.4 per game during the last one. What Mitchell averaged in steals during his rookie season falls short of the 12-time All-Star's career steals average(1.6), but Wade has been understandably leaden-footed on defense last season and hence, the miserable stealing average.
Also, Wade took a massive leap from his rookie season to his sophomore season, jumping from just 16.1 points per game to 24.1, along with elevating his game in all other domains as well. Given that Mitchell has produced 20.5 points per game already, a somewhat secondary leap also in comparison might put him in an elite group, but in time.
Let's hope Mitchell catapults himself into superstardom as the 2018-19 NBA season progresses.
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