Mike Conley Has New Understanding Of Fit With Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mike Conley has a new understanding of his role with the Utah Jazz. Resuming the season on Thursday, the veteran guard has the opportunity to prove the team’s large offseason investment was worthwhile as the Jazz close the season in the NBA’s Orlando campus.
Conley struggled initially in his time with the Jazz. The guard struggled to find his jump shot in Utah before a hamstring injury sidelined him through much of December and January with the Jazz. During Conley’s absence, the Jazz played their best basketball of the season, going 15-4 of his 19 games missed.
Now, after three scrimmages in Orlando and tasked with the responsibility of carrying the scoring weight vacated in the absence of Bojan Bogdanovic, Conley says he’s finally comfortable in his role with the Jazz.
“Everything’s really comfortable right now, everything seems easier,” Conley said. “Understanding the offense, I’m understanding the defense, understanding the players, understanding my role.”
Highlighting that understanding, Conley has averaged 15.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and one assist in just over 21 minutes per game during the three scrimmages. Projected over 36 minutes, the veteran guard would average 26.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game.
“I think the first three games in the scrimmage games were a good indicator of my comfort level as I’ve grown with the team,” Conley confirmed. “I’m excited to just continue to grow with it.”
Joe Ingles Adjusting To Bubble
While Conley is showing a new understanding of what the Jazz required of him on the court, guard Joe Ingles is finding comfort within the NBA bubble.
Ingles was one of the Jazz most outspoken skeptics of the NBA when discussions about resuming the season began. The father of twin toddlers, Ingles expressed doubt about leaving his family over his kids’ birthdays, and while his wife is pregnant with the couple’s third child.
Now, three weeks into the NBA’s resumption, Ingles said he’s working to stay engaged with his family while working in Orlando.
“After the last three months of seeing them every day, getting them up and putting them to bed. All of a sudden, you go off, it’s different for them,” Ingles said. “It’s obviously a lot of pressure on my wife who is 22 weeks pregnant as well.”
While Ingles is sure to make himself available to his family as often as he can, he’s found time to reconnect with his teammates in Florida.
“I think as a team it’s really cool to be able to sit with guys at dinner. Have coffee, have breakfast in the morning. We’re a pretty close team.”
Though time away from his home has been an adjustment, Ingles still recognizes the top tier amenities the Jazz have been presented with while in Orlando.
“We are in a resort and it’s a nice hotel,” Ingles said. “I think I probably stirred them up a little bit with food the first few days which I would stand by. It was terrible. But it’s gotten a lot better. You can cater, you can order food from places now. It’s a lot different than the first 72 hours here. So I guess settling in has been easy in terms of that stuff.”
The Jazz reopen the season on Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans. The game tips off at 4:30 pm MT and will be broadcast on TNT and AT&T SportsNet.