Utah Jazz: one goal for every player in the starting lineup

Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
6 of 6
Utah Jazz
Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley Jr.

2021-22 Goal: Stay healthy 

Arguably, we’re copping out with our 2021-22 goal for Mike Conley Jr. Every player on the Utah Jazz and in the National Basketball Association in general would prefer to stay healthy for the entire duration of every season of their careers.

Fair enough. You try identifying a more realistic and vital goal for Conley Jr. heading into this season.

Simply put, it cannot be done. Short of manifesting his own physical growth and/or athletic gifts, Conley Jr. has no room for improvement. His positive DBPM of 0.9 from last season is about as good as anyone can expect from a 6’1, 175-pound 33-year old. The 41.2% he shot on 6.6 three-point attempts per game last season is unlikely to climb, and could even afford to slip a little before it began significantly impacting his team’s efficiency.

His 6.0 assists per game from 2020-21 were solid, but become something better when paired with his 1.9 turnovers per game. That was good for an 8.9 turnover ratio. That’s a mark that landed Conley 25th in the NBA last season, but it’s worth noting that the top 20 or so players are largely low-usage point guards. For context, the league leader was Jevon Carter (5.1). Conley Jr.’s 8.9 landed him one spot ahead of esteemed Point God Chris Paul (9.0).

Indeed, there is no realistic goal that anyone could ask of the heady, well-rounded veteran outside of improved durability. Last season, Conley Jr. suited up for 51 out of Utah’s 72 regular season games, and then unfortunately missed time in the playoffs as well. The season before was even worse, as he managed 47 out of 72.

Next. Jazz star unveils basketball court for upcoming Academy. dark

Conley Jr. is as solid as veterans come in the NBA: his body just won’t agree. He should make it a goal to stay on the floor as often as possible for the Utah Jazz in the 2021-22 season.