Any observer of the Utah Jazz can tell you how valuable Mike Conley Jr. is to the team’s cause without hesitation. Last season, the veteran floor general was finally named an NBA All-Star with averages of 16.2 points and 6.0 assists per game. Conley was also a lethal three-point shooter, nailing 41.2% of his 6.6 attempts per game.
Indeed, his brand of low-maintenance, high-IQ basketball has been a godsend to an Utah Jazz team that features a wealth of scorers amidst a relative dearth of playmaking. There’s no questioning Conley’s value to the squad. Questions surrounding his ability to stay on the floor, on the other hand, are entirely merited.
Conley Jr. only managed to appear in 6 out of the Jazz’s 11 playoff games last season, and they struggled without one of their most important players in the game. He only appeared in a single game vs the team that eventually dethroned the Western Conference’s regular season kings.
When Conley did play in the playoffs, he was effective. In fact, he was instrumental in eliminating his former Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, with averages of 17.4 points and 8.6 assists per game. That increased statistical output is indicative of a player who, as the colloquialism goes, showed up when it mattered.
The Jazz will just be hoping that Conley Jr.’s body can do the same. If it can, there’s no ceiling on this team’s potential. Otherwise, advancement into the Western Conference Finals is very likely to be a height too lofty to reach.
Hopefully, his body looks right in this year’s training camp.