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Mike Conley pulls hamstring, but feels confident he’ll be ready to go for round two of playoffs

“It’s playoffs so my mindset is I’ll be ready to play,” Conley said. “We’re gonna just see what happens in next few days and be smart about how we approach it going into this next series.”

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley smiles as he and teammate Bojan Bogdanovic talk during timeout at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (10) smiles as he and teammate Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) talks during a timeout as the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies play in game 5 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Mike Conley left the Utah Jazz’s series-winning game over the Memphis Grizzlies in the second quarter on Wednesday after playing just 11 minutes, 35 seconds. He did not return.

The Jazz announced that Conley had been ruled out for the rest of the game with right hamstring soreness.

You hear Mike Conley and hamstring in the same sentence and alarm bells start going off. That’s the same type of injury that had him in and out of the lineup last season. It’s the same injury that had him sidelined for two weeks at the end of this regular season.

But the Jazz have been cautious with Conley, making sure to preserve him for the playoffs and although Conley was not required to speak to the media after the game after having gone out with an injury, he chose to speak with reporters and he didn’t sound too concerned.

“It’s playoffs so my mindset is I’ll be ready to play,” Conley said. “We’re gonna just see what happens in next few days and be smart about how we approach it going into this next series.”

Conley, who averaged 20 points, 10.3 assists and shot 53.3% from 3-point range through the first four games of the playoffs, told the Jazz medical staff in the first quarter that he felt a bit of a pull in his right hamstring. He tried to play through it in the second quarter but there wasn’t any improvement in how it felt.

Once back in the locker room receiving treatment, seeing that the Jazz were blowing out the Grizzlies and knowing that multiple days of rest were on the horizon, the Jazz and Conley made the decision that it was smart to not have him go back into the game.

When asked how the hamstring felt after Wednesday’s game compared to how it felt when he was sidelined for nine consecutive games at the tail end of the regular season, Conley said that this time around it didn’t feel as significant or as sore.

More than anything, Conley is just frustrated that he’s still feeling any soreness after all the precaution and care that’s been taken this season regarding his hamstring.

“I’m frustrated,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve worked tirelessly, night and day on. I’ve put a lot of effort into it, showing up early, staying late, strengthening, running, conditioning, everything. It’s just one of those things where you don’t know when it’ll happen or why it happens, it just does...it’s never been like a true hamstring pull where it just knocks you out, it’s just a small tweak that’s just enough to cause discomfort and worry some folks. That’s the frustrating part.”

The fortunate part for the Jazz is that they will be resting until at least Saturday as they await the outcome of the Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers series. The Mavericks lead the Clippers, 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for Friday night.