The Utah Jazz could use one more All-Star against the Los Angeles Clippers.
To this Utah Jazz writer’s delight, I was dead wrong in my pessimistic prediction leading up to the Western Conference Semifinals matchup between the No. 1 seed Jazzmen and the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers.
See, before Utah’s 112-109 Game 1 home win on Tuesday night, I had forecasted there to be zero Jazz victories in this series for as long as first-time All-Star Mike Conley was to remain out of commission from his mild right hamstring strain during a Game 5 series-clinching W on June 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Two-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell & Friends had other plans, though.
By ramping up the energy level in the third quarter and then playing like the aggressor throughout the final 12 minutes, the squad proved capable of beating the Clippers even with Conley merely serving as a cheerleader on the bench.
However, the Jazz trailed by 13 at the half. And to seal the deal in the waning seconds of the battle, they ultimately needed a picture-perfect block by their third All-Star in newly minted three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
In other words, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to have Conley’s help. ASAP.
Predicting the Utah Jazz point guard’s status for Game 2
Now, as of this article’s publishing, the Utah Jazz Twitter account still tags Mike Conley as “questionable” for Game 2 at 8 p.m. MT Thursday in Salt Lake City. Granted, that’s the same as his status was for Game 1 at this point on Tuesday; with an identical start time to Game 2, the “Conley is out” tweet did not arrive that day until 11:30 a.m. MT.
Therefore, Jazz supporters should probably refrain from getting their hopes up until at least the afternoon if there’s been no word beforehand. After all, the previous instance of Conley’s hamstring issues was quite recent and led to his missing nine of the team’s final 11 regular-season games.
On that note, and harking back to the fact that my Conley-related postseason predictions have thus far been off the mark, the prognostication here is that the 33-year-old won’t lace ’em up for Game 2 (crossing my fingers for this to be another bogus forecast).