The Utah Jazz eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies in five games in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but they didn’t escape that series unscathed. Jazz guard Mike Conley suffered a mild right hamstring strain in Game 5 against the Grizzlies, and he has been ruled out of Game 1 of Utah’s second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night as a result, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic.
Aside from the injury, Conley had a very solid series against the Grizzlies. In 30 minutes of action per performance, he averaged 17.4 points. 8.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 46 percent from the floor and a scorching 54 percent from long range. Obviously, the Jazz would like to have him available for as much of the second round as possible, but they’re clearly not going to rush him back into action.
This specific injury is a concern for the Jazz, as Conley missed 21 games during the regular season with right hamstring tightness. However, he’s trying to maintain an optimistic outlook heading into the second round.
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“My mindset is, I’m going to be ready to play,” Conley said, via the Salt Lake Tribune. “That’s kind of the visual I put in front of myself: ‘I’m going to be ready.’ But at the same time, we’re going to see what happens in the next few days and be smart about how we approach it going into this next series.”
Conley won’t be ready to go for Game 1, but perhaps he will be for Game 2, which is scheduled for Thursday night. At least Utah has to hope that he will be, as Conley is a huge part of what the Jazz do on both ends of the floor. He’s a solid team defender on one end, and on offense he’s an initiator and a floor-spacer.