SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz will be without starting All-Star point guard Mike Conley again, as he will miss his second straight playoff game with a hamstring strain. Conley missed Tuesday’s Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, which the Jazz won, 112-109 after straining his hamstring in Utah’s series-clinching […]Mike Conley ruled out for Game 2 against Clippers — ABC4 Utah
LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz point guard was named an NBA All-Star for the first time this season. Now, he’s an Oscar winner as well. Conley is one of the executive producers for “Two Distant Strangers,” which won the Best Short Film (Live Action) at the 93rd Academy Awards Sunday night. Conley and […]Mike Conley wins Oscar as executive producer for ‘Two Distant Strangers’ — ABC4 Utah
Daddy’s BACK!!! NBA guard Mike Conley has cleared quarantine and will play for the Utah Jazz on Friday … just days after leaving the NBA bubble to witness the birth of his new baby son, Elijah. As we previously reported … it was a QUICK turnaround for the vet — the 32-year-old left the Orlando […]JAZZ’S MIKE CONLEY CLEARED TO MAKE NBA RETURN 5 Days After Birth Of Child — 360APROKO
The first NBA HORSE Tournament champion officially has been crowned. On Thursday night, the semifinals and finals of the first-ever NBA HORSE Tournament went down and the Utah Jazz’s Mike Conley walked out as the winner. It was down to Conley and Zach Lavine, with Lavine getting Conley down to H-O-R before Conley ultimately won.…Jazz’s Mike Conley Defeats Bulls’ Zach Lavine, Wins NBA HORSE Tournament — NESN.com
(12-8) UTAH JAZZ, 110 VS. (15-4) TORONTO RAPTORS, 130 SCOTIABANK ARENA SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2019
TORONTO RAPTORS QUOTES
NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH)
On the first half… We really did want to get out there and play with some pace. It is a good half court defensive team, we didn’t want to have to face (Rudy) Gobert at the rim as much as we could. We obviously wanted to get out and play with some pace but creating all those turnovers and getting out and running anytime is going to be good offence.
Was that the best half you have seen from that group? Yes, for sure. Shots were going in, defence was tough each possession, just about every possession. Those things feed each other, the defence feeds the offence.
On the third quarter… I think it was 40 at the half and down inside 20 pretty quickly. The history of it being 40, there is plenty of game left when it’s down to 19 with six to go in the third. That is manageable. We were trying to change some coverages and get a little more active and we just weren’t. They did a good job of getting downhill and firing it out and made all those shots. We just weren’t coming up with any stops – but I don’t really want to talk about that third quarter, if that’s all right. I am happy that we get a 20 point win against a quality team like that, you take that every day of the week.
On Serge Ibaka’s return to the lineup… He has a lot of experience in a lot of big games. He was a little rusty as you could see, but you know I think again, I always say what makes Serge special is when he really gets his motor cooking and he is blocking shots, he is a really intimidating factor in a game. We don’t lose those games very often. We he is cooking and going, he becomes a great presence on defence and his offence has been really solid this year.
On Fred VanVleet having zero turnovers… He handles it low to the ground, right? Uses his body to protect it, he’s got it on a string. I wouldn’t call him super quick but his movements are so deceptive that he will head fake one way and he is by a guy into the open. He just really knows how to play. He has a good knack of again, getting himself in and out of trouble. If he’s getting in trouble, he can escape dribble out of a double team a lot. He has an incredible knack for taking on bigger people at the rim, getting his body into them and somehow getting a pretty good layup up there. I think that is good, then they throw some size at him or they make a switch or whatever, he can score over people and if he can he will keep his dribble alive and squirt out the other side and try and find somebody.
MARC GASOL (11 points, five rebounds, six assists)
How important is it to make shots early with a shot blocker like Rudy Gobert out there? It’s just not the shot, it’s just having the ball out there, post him away from the basket because they want him to pressure me and make those passes at the elbow harder to see. There are different ways to get him away from the basket. Once he goes and collapses, spacing and moving without the ball is kind of important.
Is it strange to see Mike Conley in another jersey? Yeah, but we are so fortunate and it’s just great seeing him happy, healthy and that is all I can ask for. We had a great time last night, a great dinner and catching up, and now I can’t wait to go see his family when we go to Utah.
FRED VANVLEET (21 points, 11 assists, five rebounds)
How tough is it to play with a lead like that at the half? Yeah, it’s tough. It’s probably one of the harder things to do in the league is to play with a lead, especially a big lead like that, against a good team. I don’t think any of us expected to be up by 40 against that team. That’s the way the game goes sometimes and, as poorly as they played in the first half they, played just as good in the third quarter and they were able to shrink the lead a little bit. That’s the point of getting up big is to give yourself a cushion to finish out the game. I thought we did a good job in the fourth.
Are you surprised by the team’s play with guys out? Not really, I think the biggest thing for us was that road trip, just guys that haven’t played and throw them in there and have them fit in seamlessly and play as well as they’ve been playing. So I knew that we had enough talent, the resolve and coaching that we needed to win games. It’s just a matter of plugging guys in that haven’t played and those guys have been playing unbelievable. Not really surprised, more so just pleased with how we’ve been playing and something we need to continue to do and we are about a quarter of the way in, so we’ve got to continue to keep building and getting better. Once everybody gets back, that will probably be our real challenge, to start back over and try to find chemistry and minutes and figuring everything out from there.
PASCAL SIAKAM (35 points, five assists, five rebounds) On bouncing back after a tough shooting game in Orlando… You’re just mad. I’m mad at myself, as a competitor, I’ve always been that way. You understand that there are bad games and you are going to have games where shots are not going to fall, but at the same time, coming in the next game as a competitor, you have that mentality to get back to it and you want to get on the floor. For me, I wanted to play yesterday, that’s how bad I wanted it, so it’s part of the game, you continue to learn, continue to grow. In games where you are not going to score, you’ve got to find a way to help your team in other ways and as long as we are winning, we are good.
On seeing extra bodies defending you … We kind of knew Gobert was going to help a lot. Just having Marc there, stretching the floor, making sure early we give him the ball, and he has to shoot them to make them think a little bit. Once they give me a little space, I’m definitely more comfortable that way and I can attack, so that’s what I did.
UTAH JAZZ QUOTES
QUIN SNYDER (HEAD COACH)
How would you sum up what happened in the first half?
Well, obviously, we were awful. I think the important thing for us is to understand, there were a lot of reasons, but I think our urgency to make certain things important defensively, whether that be an assignment or sprinting back, not running back, not jogging back, against a team like Toronto that runs the way they do. There were too many breakdowns in too many possessions where we lacked the urgency we needed, and then obviously the offensive end puts you in positions where sometimes it’s next to impossible to do that. So to me fundamentally on the offensive end, moving the ball, spacing correctly, all the things you have to do collectively when you play against an excellent defensive team, that it requires you to connect and not just play together, but really commit to one another to doing all the little things you have to do to be successful. You can be successful on a possession or two, but those are the habits and the details when a team is as aggressive and as committed as they were to guarding us that you need in order to execute all the little details.
Do you respond differently because it’s the second game in a row you didn’t come out well to begin the game?
That’s a question that I want to watch the game, but as far as our response you can see that a couple of ways. You can see how we responded in the second half the other night and won the game. We were so far down in the first half that it was difficult no matter how well we played to come back and win tonight’s game. Obviously, our focus to begin the game has to be better. When I say better, I think it has to be more directed to the things we need to do to be successful and sometimes those aren’t sweeping things. Sometimes it’s not making a shot, that can always happen but that doesn’t need to be your focus because that is something you can’t control. So far us to be able to control the things that we can, in order to do that we have to feel on a deep level that they are important.
MIKE CONLEY (20 points, three rebounds, two assists)
What happened in the first half?
It was disappointing. I think it was a lack of focus, which we shouldn’t have any lack of focus coming into a place like this. This is a team that we know is playing at a championship level, obviously, coming off of last season. We didn’t match their energy at all. We knew it was going to be physical. We didn’t handle the ball well, we didn’t get back on defense, we didn’t do the little things that the good teams do. We have control over that and that’s the most disappointing part of this. We just didn’t come to play in that first half.
What leads to that lack of focus coming into a game?
It’s tough. Every game is different. Tonight, I think it was just we got into a game where we were giving them too many fast-break opportunities because we were turning over the ball all over and making mental errors defensively. It was a snowball effect. Everybody kind of got down and we knew playing against a team like we (were) tonight you cannot have five minute spans where you don’t score or you don’t even get shot attempts up because you’re turning the ball over, or just not doing the small things that leads to wins. We’ve got to be better.
What went well in the third quarter?
Honestly, I thought it started defensively. We just started to pick it up, started being more physical, not worrying about foul calls, not worrying about contact, playing through things, not being so cool, just kind of getting into our uncomfortable zone. That’s something I talked to the guys with – be okay with being uncomfortable, try to work in that zone and I think that will help us. That’s something we were doing in that third quarter, we were playing hard and playing for each other, making extra passes and that’s Jazz basketball.
RUDY GOBERT (12 points, 11 rebounds)
On the first half …
They outplayed us on both ends. I think we, against the most physical team, turned the ball over a lot. They are also the best transition team in the NBA so they punished us on the other end. It went pretty quick, they just overpowered us in the first half, made some big stops and then we got down by, I don’t know, 37? 39? 40. Our offense really hurt us, our defense really hurt us, the turnovers really hurt us and then they got going.
Are the back-to-back slow starts a concern moving forward?
I don’t think it’s a concern. It’s something that we can look at and be better at it. Other great teams, they start the game well and they finish the game well. You can’t just start a game like we did and think that we are going to just come out in the third and the win the game like we did in Memphis. We have got to have a chip on our shoulder and it’s got to start at the first minute and every time we punch first we are going to be in a good position to win the game.