3 Areas Michael Conley Must Still Improve on as Point Guard for the Grizzlies
A lot of people got on the Memphis Grizzlies when they signed Mike Conley to a huge extension before last season, but Conley quieted those doubters when he had his best season as a pro so far.
Conley played phenomenally in the playoffs as the Grizzlies advanced past the first round, upsetting the No. 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs. They also took the Oklahoma City Thunder to a game seven in the second round.
Continue reading to find out what Conley must improve on in order to get the Grizzlies to the next level.
Mike Conley relies a lot on his quickness in his offensive game, but Conley must continue to lift weights and gain size in the offseason if he wants to be a better point guard.
One of Conley's weaknesses is his inability to get in the paint and finish in traffic. He gets inside and quickly goes to his floater, which is good, but if Conley could bulk up and take the ball strong to the hoop he could be converting more and-one's. His driving would also attract more attention to himself, allowing him to kick out to open shooters.
Another reason strength would really help Conley is on the defensive side of the ball, which I'll talk about next.
Strength would help out Conley a lot on the defensive side of the ball, too, where Conley also needs to get better.
Conley may not seem like a bad defender because he does get into passing lanes and steals the ball from time to time. He's no defensive liability, but in the playoffs he was exploited by the Thunder's Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook is no easy cover, but Conley needs to work on his lateral movement and find ways to stay in front of players and block off easy drives to the basket. It's not an easy thing to do, but with hard work and the right conditioning, there's no reason why Conley shouldn't be a guard who's good enough on defense not to be picked on.
Conley is a smooth lefty, which in its own way throws a lot of defenders off. He's very crafty with his floaters and he has a smooth stroke from beyond the arch, but that's not enough if he wants to improve as a player.
Conley could really benefit from spending a whole summer focusing on his right hand. Conley is very weak with his right and that is a liability for him on offense.
If Conley was able to make floaters with his right hand and drive to the hoop strongly to finish with his right, he'd be able to keep his defenders off balance. He's not a horrendous finisher with his right hand, but, then again, he's also a very good point guard.
If he wants to be considered a great point guard in the league, this is one thing that he really could improve upon.