How one Kings reserve has been a rare bright spot to finish the season 

Sacramento Kings v Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Injuries are an unpredictable element of the NBA game. They hit every team, and this year, the Kings are no exception. Serious injuries to Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk came at the worst possible time. 

The first one could have been bearable, but when Monk went down as well, the Kings’ playoff hopes suddenly seemed far-fetched. Making up for two key offensive players being sidelined would not be easy. 

The Kings had players to step up. Keon Ellis joined the starters in Huerter’s place, and Davion Mitchell took over as the main guy off the bench. Both are defensive-minded players, however, and the team’s offense has not been the same

Since playing without both Monk and Huerter, the Kings have only scored over 110 points once. They have also only won 3 out of 8 games. It has been rough, especially with the playoff race far from over and the Kings’ desperation to not end the season early. 

There has been one significant bright spot amid this mess, however. 

Davion Mitchell has been playing well lately

Early this season, many of us were quick to write Davion Mitchell off. He struggled offensively, couldn’t stay on the court, and seemed out of sync with Mike Brown’s vision. 

It seemed that he needed a fresh start with a team that had more developmental minutes available. Things have changed a lot since then. 

Mitchell found his shooting touch in March, allowing Brown to play both him and Keon Ellis rather than having to pick one to leave on the bench. Not playing with the constant fear of falling out of the rotation at the slightest mistake has changed Mitchell’s energy. 

He is playing without hesitation and with force. Seemingly absorbing some of Malik Monk’s never-ending supply of confidence, he has really stepped up his game in the wake of Monk’s injury. 

Mitchell may not be as electric as Monk, but he has discovered his own ability to be a spark off the bench. In Brooklyn, for example, he changed the energy of the game when he came in and took apart the Nets’ zone defense. 

Mitchell’s speed with the ball and ability to get to the rim are both underrated but have been on full display lately. That, combined with solid three-point shooting and play king, has made Mitchell a true offensive contributor. 

After struggling to score for most of the season, he has put up a total of 81 points over the last eight games, going 12-28 from three. He has also dished out a total of 24 assists while playing his usual pesky defense. 

Mitchell’s production lately does not make up for missing Monk and Huerter, but it has been a bright spot between a lot of struggling and losing. Mitchell is finally playing like the player most of us envisioned him to eventually grow into, and that is huge for the Kings, even if other things aren’t going well. 

He has proven that he can work through adversity and respond in the right way.