Newly acquired Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley has had a very distinguished career. He was the leader of the Memphis Grizzlies for 12 seasons and with the team doing a complete rebuild, is now taking on a new leadership role for the Utah Jazz.
As excellent as Conley has been during his career, there is one stat that astounds us when you compare it against his NBA counterparts. Today, we will go over that statistic and determine if Conley can continue to play at a high-level for the remainder of his career.
The stat that has us completely surprised is the number of technical fouls Conley has received during his career. That would be a big fat 0. When you think about how intense basketball games can become, this is incredibly surprising. NBA games are full of passion, and it isn’t out of the ordinary to see players get into disagreements on the court.
This can lead to technical fouls and sometimes fights. The fact that Conley has never received a technical foul even when disagreeing with calls from referees is also amazing. Over the last few seasons, it seems like NBA referees have wanted to blow the whistle quicker when it comes to player emotions.
What to expect from Mike Conley in Utah
The Utah crowd is notorious for their verbal altercations with NBA players on opposing teams as well as on the home team. Before getting traded, Rodney Hood had an incident with the fan as he slapped a cell phone out of their hands while getting ejected from a game.
There was a major incident last season with Russell Westbrook, which resulted in the fan getting banned from the arena for life. We don’t think there will be any negative altercations for Conley with the fans in Utah, so don’t expect him to get any technical fouls during home games this season.
What makes Mike Conley so likable?
One excellent example of Conley’s leadership qualities was during the ESPN produced Year One, which highlights the life of the rookies during their first season in the NBA.
In one episode Conley and Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Junior had a conversation about life in the NBA and it was clear why Conley was given the role of mentor to the young forward.
Providing valuable insight can help Jackson Jr. mature and grow into one of the game’s bright young players and just goes to show how nice Conley is.
Can he help Utah reach the NBA Finals?
After trading for Mike Conley, Utah has a very deep roster. He provides leadership at the point guard position. This is arguably the most important position in the conference with Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, and Damian Lillard all playing in the same conference. Not to mention, he brings grit and toughness on the defensive end of the floor.
Having a point guard that can shut down the oppositions playmaker is important, and it will also make everyone else step things up on the defensive end. Rudy Gobert is the two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, so having him clogging the paint should help Utah improve on that end of the floor.
Donovan Mitchell has been a volume scorer during the early portions of his career, but we think he can become an efficient player in the Jazz offensive system with Conley setting him up for Buckets.
We expect Utah to at least reach the playoffs, but with a deep conference, they may need to push an opponent to Game 7 to get out of the first round.