Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell working on forming a special bond with Mike Conley
Donovan Mitchell is entering his third season with a different challenge at hand. While the Utah Jazz heard the fans’ cries for a backcourt mate for Mitchell, it is up to the star shooting guard to figure out how to play with his new partner Mike Conley, a task he dedicated his summer to.
The Jazz are 3-1 and look to be in good hands with their new backcourt, but Mitchell insists there’s plenty more bonding to do between him and Conley:
“Mike is so easy to get along with, and for me it’s continuing to bond,” Mitchell told Shams Charania of The Athletic. “He’s a guy who’s easy to bond with, and basketball was really second in our workouts. We were trying to figure out who we were. He had left Memphis, and he was a star there and he’s taught me a lot about that experience. We’re still figuring each other out, but we’re really bonded and it’s pretty dope having a lead guard who wants to make the game easier for me.”
Mitchell had the bulk of ball-handling duties during his first two seasons in Utah, but now he’s being allowed to operate off the ball, as he did many times at Louisville before declaring for the NBA Draft in 2017. An intrinsic relationship with Conley will be necessary to take the Jazz to the next level, something he insists the two are working on:
“A lot of this offense is reading each other,” said Mitchell. “We have to read each other and play (alongside) each other. Being able to push it in transition, we don’t really have a set structure. From the past two seasons to now having Mike and Bojan [Bogdanovic] and the guys we brought in … it’s free-flowing and read-offense.”
The Jazz seem to be doing just fine through the early get-go, and they can only improve from here with a quality veteran point guard in Conley and a star on the rise in Mitchell. Utah is winning games despite Conley struggling with his shooting, so just imagine what will happen once he gets comfortable in his new home.