Memphis Grizzlies: 5 goals for Mike Conley in 2017-18

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /

Mike Conley has been a key driver of the Memphis Grizzlies’ success in recent years. They’ll need him to shoulder a significant load again this year.

The Memphis Grizzlies‘ 2016-17 NBA season is nearly upon us, and in preparation we’re spending some time setting expectations for the team’s most important players by outlining several goals that will, should they be achieved, allow for both individual and collective success. If you missed our first installment, please feel free take a look at the five goals we set for Marc Gasol.

For Memphis’ younger players, these goals will likely focus on potential areas of major development. For the team’s elder statesmen, they will focus more on staving off decline, and finding small, new ways to be impactful. The topic of today’s discussion, Mike Conley, falls into the latter category.

Conley has been the model of overlooked consistency since entering the NBA back in 2007. He’s never been able to crack an All-Star team, despite being one of the better players in the league for at least the past four years, if not longer. In fact, he may finish his career as the best player never to earn such an honor.

That’s more of a reflection of how many good guards there are in the Western Conference than it is of Conley’s level of play. There is a strong case to be made he wouldn’t earn such a dubious distinction if the Grizzlies played in the East.

They don’t though, and as such Conley’s All-Star fate is what it is. He isn’t likely to have a better statistical season than the one he posted last year, the best of his career to date, and at age 29 it’d be surprising if he has another big developmental jump left in him.

That’s fine. It would be unfair for the Grizzlies to expect any more out of him. Conley is really good as is, and they’ll need him to continue producing at a high level if they have any hope of advancing to the postseason. Let’s take a look at some of the things he’ll need to achieve in order to make that happen.