Mike Conley to Be Active for Jazz vs. Nuggets Game 3 After Clearing QuarantineAugust 21, 2020
Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley is reportedly set to clear quarantine and play in Game 3 of Utah's first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Conley left the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday to be with his wife in Columbus, Ohio, for the birth of their son, Elijah. Conley returned to the NBA campus Monday night.
Without Conley in the lineup, the Jazz fell 135-125 in Game 1 but bounced back with a 124-105 win in Game 2.
This season is Conley's first with the Jazz, as he spent his first 12 NBA campaigns as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. In 47 games this season, Conley struggled to the tune of 14.4 points, 4.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals per contest.
His numbers were down significantly compared to the career year he enjoyed in 2018-19 with 21.1 points, 6.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
Conley even lost his starting job briefly this season, but his play improved inside the bubble with 18.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game in six starts.
With Conley out for the first two games of Utah's playoff series, small forward Juwan Morgan was inserted into the starting lineup, averaging 4.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Jordan Clarkson played the bulk of the point guard minutes off the bench alongside superstar shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and averaged 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
Conley's return is huge for the Jazz since he is an experienced player who has appeared in 56 playoff games during his career. Conley also puts up quality numbers in the postseason with 16.5 points, 6.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
The 32-year-old veteran is a strong perimeter defender as well, which is something that would have come in handy when the Jazz allowed 135 points in Game 1.
With a backcourt of Mitchell, Conley, Clarkson and Joe Ingles, the Jazz could be a big problem for Denver on both ends of the floor in Game 3 and beyond.