With the Utah Jazz facing elimination Friday night against the LA Clippers, their two usual starting guards are working toward being in the lineup despite injuries.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday morning that Donovan Mitchell “is progressing to be a game-time decision” for Game 6 of Utah and and LA’s second-round series in Los Angeles because of a right ankle injury, and Mike Conley “is working toward a return to the lineup” after suffering a right hamstring strain on June 2.
For the Jazz in Game 6 tonight in LA: Donovan Mitchell (ankle) is progressing to be a game-time decision, and Mike Conley Jr., (hamstring) is working toward a return to the lineup, sources tell ESPN. Jazz trail Clippers, 3-2, in Western Conference Semifinal series.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2021
Mitchell was noticeably hampered in the Jazz’s Game 5 loss to the Clippers, and said as much after the contest, while Conley has not played at all in the series. In Game 5, Mitchell went just 6 of 19 from the field, including 4 of 14 from behind the 3-point line, and Conley’s ability to get into the paint and make plays has been sorely missed against LA’s tough defense.
“For most of my life I’ve been able to push by, explode by, jump through people or over people,” Mitchell told reporters after Game 5. “For the first time in my career I’ve had to play on the floor. ... This is a learning process and it sucks to learn this in the playoffs but it is what it is. No excuses.”
Conley told reporters prior to Game 5 that he was primed to return for Game 3 before suffering a setback, but said he was hopeful he could return in the series.
“With the way things have been progressing and obviously with the series as close as it is and as tight as it is, I think that this series is possible, depending on the situation,” he said. “I’ve played through a lot of things in my career and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.”
Both Mitchell and Conley have been formally listed as questionable for Game 6 on Utah’s injury report.
The Clippers lead the series 3-2.