Utah point guard Mike Conley — who has played his best basketball of the season in the restart — has left the NBA’s Orlando campus to attend the birth of his son.
The Jazz made the announcement Sunday.
Mike Conley update:
Mike departed Orlando this morning and returned to Columbus, Ohio for the birth of his son.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) August 16, 2020
Family should always come before basketball (and congratulations to the Conley family). However, what would have been an off-season birth most years will impact the Jazz in the playoffs this season.
Utah starts its playoff series against Denver on Monday, and games will be played every other day. If Conley has a negative coronavirus test every day he is outside the bubble he will have a four-day quarantine upon return. Meaning, expect Conley to miss the first three games of this first-round series (in theory he could miss only two, but it’s unlikely).
Conley has been playing his best basketball of the season in Orlando, averaging 18 points and five assists a game in the bubble. More importantly, the Jazz have been +13.5 per 100 possessions when Conley was on the court.
Not having Conley or Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist surgery) messes with the Jazz rotations heading into this series.
The likely closing lineup for the Jazz of Mitchell, Clarkson, O'Neale, Ingles and Gobert has played 45 possessions and is a -18.2 per 100 possessions
— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) August 16, 2020
Utah is in a tough spot, but Denver has not impressed at the restart, either (outside of Michael Porter Jr.). This is going to be one fascinating series.