Can Davion Mitchell be the spark off the Kings’ bench from now on?

Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

This has been the most difficult season of Davion Mitchell’s young NBA career. For the first time, he has had to fight for playing time. Early in the season he lost that battle but is now playing some of his best basketball yet. 

When Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk both suffered serious injuries, Mitchell and Keon Ellis were handed big opportunities. Ellis got to step into the starting lineup and has been playing well, especially defensively. Mitchell became the first guard off the bench, getting a chance to prove that he can rise to the occasion. 

His offense, particularly the three-point shot, was the biggest hole in Mitchell’s game, but it seems he has fixed that issue. 

Davion Mitchell’s shot has really come along

In March, Mitchell shot 41.7 percent from three and has carried that over to April so far. It has been a real game-changer for the Kings. If neither one is an offensive liability, Mike Brown can play both Ellis and Mitchell—sometimes even at the same time—and doesn’t have to leave one of his best defenders to collect dust on the bench.

Being in and out of the rotation weighs on players. It is difficult to make the right plays if you are constantly worried about being benched again. We could see it bothering Mitchell early on. 

He looked hesitant and passive, but that has changed completely in the last few weeks. Mitchell has been playing confident and aggressive, hitting shots and making the right plays. If the Kings want any chance of surviving this final stretch without Monk and Huerter, Mitchell will have to keep that going. 

Can Mitchell be the spark off the Kings’ bench from now on?

We all know how important Malik Monk is to this team. He is the Kings’ heart and soul and often changes the energy of a game the second he steps on the court. Now, someone else has to bring that and maybe it can be Mitchell. 

In the Kings’ win over the Clippers, he put on a great performance. Keon Ellis got into foul trouble early, so Mitchell came off the bench quickly. He immediately hit a three and got a big stop against James Harden

In 25 minutes, the third-year guard hit four threes on his way to 14 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and played great defense. Mitchell was a huge part of the Kings holding Harden to only 1-7 shooting from the field. 

Combining for 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, he and Trey Lyles had a real impact on the trajectory of the game. In the second quarter, Mike Brown sat Fox and Sabonis at the same time. The lineup of Mitchell, Murray, Vezenkov, Lyles, and Len didn’t just survive that stretch but also extended the team’s lead because everyone was aggressive on both ends of the floor. 

The difference is that Lyles has been doing it all season long. He has been Sacramento’s second-most reliable bench player for months. Mitchell struggled for a while but really stepped up against the Clippers. 

Due to his defense, his impact is much different than what Monk brings to the table. Nevertheless, Mitchell brought a very Monk-like energy to the game, immediately making his presence known. 

The Kings have a lot riding on a playoff appearance this year. It impacts their draft pick situation, the core’s development, and Monk’s looming free agency. Others have to step up to make up for the injuries to two key players, and hopefully, Mitchell is ready. 

He and Lyles will have to be big off the bench every game to save the Kings’ playoff hopes.