Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell discussed his ankle injury and how it has impacted him following Wednesday night's 119-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series.
According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Mitchell said:
"It's something I'm going to have to deal with. I mean, it f--king sucks. I ain't got nothing else to say. Like, it's tough when you're trying different things that you normally do and you see spots you can get to, but you can't, so you got to find a way to make it happen.
"It's tough, but I got to find a way. Otherwise, I'm going to be home. And I said it last year ... and I said during the year, we didn't do all this to lose in the second round, so we got to figure it the f--k out. Otherwise, that's it. Excuse my language."
The 24-year-old has dealt with an ankle injury for the past few months, causing him to miss the final 16 games of the regular season and the first game of Utah's first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The issue returned during the second-round series against the Clippers, with Mitchell in apparent pain late in the Game 2 win. He also left early because of pain in the right ankle in the Game 3 loss but said he would try to play through it.
"It's been just trying to manage it," he told reporters. "I don't really know what else to tell you; I don't want to say too much. It was just the landing, but I'm good. I'll be ready for Game 4."
The Louisville product remains an impact player when he is on the court, scoring at least 30 points nearly every night in the playoffs. He turned heads with his 45-point effort in the Game 1 win over Los Angeles.
Mitchell struggled mightily in Wednesday's loss, though, going just 6-of-19 from the field and 4-of-14 from beyond the arc and finishing with 21 points, five assists and five rebounds.
With Mitchell playing well below expectations, the Jazz fell to the Clippers in Game 5 despite the fact that L.A. was playing without injured star Kawhi Leonard. Now, the Clippers hold a 3-2 series lead.
Mitchell averaged 26.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game during the regular season on the way to his second All-Star selection. He was the clear go-to option offensively for a team that produced the best record in the NBA (52-20), and his health is a major storyline as the Jazz look to contend for a title.
If the ankle injury continues to nag Mitchell moving forward, the Jazz will need more scoring out of Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and others in Game 6 and beyond should Utah manage to win Friday's do-or-die game.