The Utah Jazz gave a thorough shellacking to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 and advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. But the story coming out of the game is Mike Conley’s health.
Conley didn’t come back after halftime due to right hamstring soreness. He said postgame that he felt “frustrated” about the injury and that he will get an MRI Thursday morning.
“It’s something that I’ve worked tirelessly — kind of night and day — on and put a lot of effort into it,” Conley said. “Showing up early, staying late, strengthening, running, conditioning, everything. It’s just one of those things. You don’t know when it’ll happen or why it happens. It just does.”
Conley said that after the first quarter, he felt “a little tug” in his hamstring but decided to play through it. Once he felt it getting more sore as the game went on, he left the game and started treatment.
Conley added that some discomfort subsided with treatment, but he didn’t reenter the game due to the big lead the Jazz had over the Grizzlies.
Conley played in just 51 of the Jazz’s 72 regular-season games this year, either due to right hamstring soreness, or injury management associated with it. He missed nine consecutive games down the stretch with the same hamstring problem, before returning for the team’s final two regular-season games and all five first-round playoff games.
“For me it’s never been like a true hamstring pull where it just knocks you out,” Conley said. “It’s just like a small tweak that’s just enough to cause discomfort and worry some folks.”
The Jazz have some time before facing the winner of series between the L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks, which will go at least six games. Fans might want that series to go the distance so Conley can get extra rest and rehabilitation on his hamstring.
While it’s not certain, Conley intimated that he plans to play once the second round starts.
“My mindset is I’m going to be ready to play,” Conley said. “That’s kind of the visual I put in front of myself. I’m going to be ready. But at the same time, we’re going to see what happens in the next few days and be smart about how we approach it going into this next series.”
In just under 12 minutes, Conley scored seven points and added two assists in Game 5.