Mike Conley is playing like he was before he was traded to the Utah Jazz and they are looking like a serious contender as a result.
The Utah Jazz doubled down on their current roster this season, with Derrick Favors being the only notable addition. They had the chance to decline Mike Conley‘s $34 million team option, which based on his play last year would have been an understandable decision.
The way that Conley has started this season, the Jazz front office appears to have made the correct move. He has been a huge part of the success of the team who are 4-2 so far on the season, giving the team what they need on any given night.
Over the first six games, Conley has averaged 20.6 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. However, it is not just the raw numbers for Conley, he is shooting the ball at incredible efficiency. His slash line is .483/.458/.842 which is really solid for a player taking 14.5 attempts per game, including 8.0 from deep.
The Utah Jazz are reaping the rewards of a healthy Mike Conley
Conley has managed to average over 20 points per game in three seasons. Two of these were in his final three years as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. Conley is showing why the Jazz were willing to trade four players and a first-round pick to get the 6’1″ point guard.
The fact that Conley has been playing to this level is a blessing for the Jazz as Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic are having slow starts to the season. While they are both getting their numbers, there is a level of inefficiency which could have cost the Jazz.
An example of this is when the Jazz played the OKC Thunder, Bogdanovic was off in the first half and Mitchell was being defended by Luguentz Dort. It was only the play of Conley and Rudy Gobert that kept the Jazz in it.
Bogdanovic would then find his stroke in the second half but it would have been for nothing without the play of Conley as the Jazz only won by a point. Conley missed out on a triple-double that night by only one assist.
Then came the game against the LA Clippers. The Jazz were down by as many as 20 points in this contest. They came back to win by six, and a large part of the reason they could do this was the play of Conley.
He had 33 points on the night on 6-of-11 shooting. He went 7-of-14 from deep in a great display of 3-point shooting. Not only that, Conley had seven assists on the night which was a big reason for the comeback.
Conley has been the model of consistency all season. He has collected multiple rebounds in every game except the most recent win against the San Antonio Spurs. He has also collected a steal in every game except the first outing against the Portland Trail Blazers.
He has given multiple assists in every game that he played as well as scoring in double figures in every game with his lowest output being 15 points. This was again against the Spurs where he only played 27 minutes because the team was in such control.
If Conley can keep this level of production up for the rest of the season the Jazz are going to be a real threat in the West. Bogdanovic is going to get his shot back and Mitchell is going to get free more often as the season goes on. This could be a good season to be a fan of the Utah Jazz.