Mike Conley Will Return For Jazz Game Three
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are preparing for the return of Mike Conley. Fresh off a game-two victory that evened the series with the Nuggets at one game apiece, the should get a significant boost from the veteran guard in game three.
Conley has played exceptionally well both against the Nuggets this season, and during the NBA’s restart in Orlando. The Jazz officially announced Conley was available during pregame preparation for game three.
Conley has averaged 18 points, five assists, and three rebounds in the NBA bubble, giving the Jazz a much-needed boost from their prized offseason acquisition. The guard has had even better success against Denver.
The veteran is averaging season highs in scoring (20.5 ppg) and rebounds (7) against Denver in two games. In February, just two games into returning to the starting lineup after injuring his hamstring, Conley scored 21 points, dished out five assists, and grabbed eight rebounds in a 98-95 loss.
What Conley Return Can Bring In Game Three
Conley missed the first two games of the Jazz and Nuggets series to be with his family. The guard returned Tuesday after the Jazz game one loss and has to quarantine for four days before being cleared. Jazz coach Quin Snyder said despite the absence, he doesn’t predict any difficulty in putting Conley back on the floor.
“He’s only been out for a few days so I don’t think there’s any reintegration to be had,” Snyder said. “It’s like being out a quarter or six minutes. We can’t wait to have him back and that’s how his teammates feel and excited to have a guy that’s so impactful and such a good player and such a big part of what we do.”
Jazz guards have found tremendous success against the Nuggets perimeter series in both games of the series. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 43.5 points per game through the first two matchups, while Jordan Clarkson has averaged 22 points in the outings.
But in addition to Conley’s scoring punch, Jazz center Rudy Gobert the veteran guard brings even more to the floor.
“Mike Conley is a very good basketball player and a great leader, so he can bring some positive experience,” Gobert said. “He knows how to create for himself and for his teammates so it can only be a plus for our team. And we are excited to have him back.”
Conley should immediately relieve the pressure of extended minutes on the Jazz backcourt. Clarkson, Mitchell, and guard Joe Ingles all played at least 39 minutes in the Jazz game one overtime loss. Despite a game two blowout, both Mitchell and Ingles played a full 33 minutes.
The Jazz and Nuggets tip-off at 2 pm MT on Friday. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT and locally on AT&T SportsNet.
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