Utah Jazz: Predicting stats for every starter in 2021-22

Utah Jazz (Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 6
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr. 2021-22 stat predictions: 15.2 points per game, 5.8 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game

Entering into his age-34 season, Utah Jazz floor general Mike Conley Jr. may be due for regression. Point guards notoriously begin their decline around this age, and after turning in an exceptional 2020-21 season, it’s fair to wonder how much gas Conley Jr. has left in the tank.

Then again, he may project as an exception to these rules. Conley Jr.’s game is predicated on IQ, craft and moderation. He hasn’t spent a decade-plus crashing the paint in search of a highlight reel slam. Instead, he carefully plumbs pick-and-roll sets until he finds a situation he’s satisfied with, and frequently features in an off-ball role. Last season, the three-point shot accounted for 52.3% of Conley Jr.’s field goal attempts, and 59.4% of those attempts were assisted on.

That may be a recipe for longevity. In fact, it’s quite reminiscent of the play of certified Point God Chris Paul, who, if you haven’t noticed, is aging very well. If Conley Jr. can follow his career trajectory, the Utah Jazz will be more-than-satisfied.

Consider our bets officially hedged. This prediction assumes an insignificant decline in Conley Jr.’s statistical output, as he averaged 16.2 points, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals per contest last season. We’re also banking on Quin Snyder to consider mitigating Conley Jr.’s regular season minutes and usage to some degree, to avoid another injury-related collapse heading into the postseason.

He’ll still have to produce at a high level if the Jazz wish to enter the playoffs with high seeding. The squad boasts one of the league’s best three-guard rotations, but both of Conley Jr.’s running mates in Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson are distinctly score-first players. Conley Jr.’s playmaking is integral to his team’s success, and his role will have to reflect as much.