How Jazz’s Mike Conley benefits from Bojan Bogdanovic’s absence, per Joe Ingles
The Utah Jazz are entering the season restart with quite a conundrum. Aside from the fact that the relationship between their two best players in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are not in a good place following their bouts with COVID-19, the season-ending wrist surgery of Bojan Bogdanovic has left the team with a huge void to fill. However, in the mind of Utah forward Joe Ingles, Bogdanovic’s absence will actually present itself as a tremendous opportunity for Mike Conley.
According to Ingles, the silver lining in Bogdanovic’s injury is that it should increase the usage rate for Conley.
Asked how the Jazz are starting to adjust without Bojan Bogdanovic, Ingles said, "I'm excited for Mike [Conley] to have the ball more and do what he’s done his whole career."
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) July 11, 2020
Bogdanovic, who is currently on just his first season with the Jazz, averaged a career-best 20.2 points (on 44.7 percent shooting), 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, along with 3.0 triples per game on a 41.4-percent clip. He has established himself as one of the most important players in the lineup, and replacing him will be a daunting task for Utah.
As for Conley, who himself is on his debut season for the Jazz, the veteran point guard has fallen off a cliff compared to his production rate with the Memphis Grizzlies over the previous years. Currently, the 32-year-old is putting up just 13.8 points (his lowest since 2012) and 4.3 assists (his lowest since his sophomore year) in 28.6 minutes per contest (his lowest since his rookie season). Needless to say, Conley has seen his role reduced significantly with his move to Utah. However, as Ingles put it, Conley has an opportunity to potentially bring back the Conley of old with Bogdanovic now on the shelf the rest of the way.