The duo of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley is the best backcourt pairing either one has ever been a part of which spells exciting news for the Utah Jazz.
A lot has been made about the fit of Mike Conley with the Utah Jazz, and for good reason. He’s an absolute expert in the pick-and-roll, which has been Utah’s bread and butter under head coach Quin Snyder. He’s also a dynamic scoring threat that will take a lot of the pressure off that was formerly shouldered by Donovan Mitchell. He can create his own shot, set up teammates with ease and is a lock-down defender.
Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell is easily Utah’s most star-studded player. Though he’s only entering his third year in the NBA, he has all the potential and tools to blossom into an absolute superstar. He’s shown as much in his first two years with the Jazz, especially considering that he’s notched well over 20 points per game despite consistently being opponents’ top priority on defense.
The same could be said for Conley who had to shoulder a massive load for a struggling Memphis Grizzlies team this past season. Both Mitchell and Conley have been exceptional despite their high usage and the demand that’s been placed on them along with the attention from opponents. And the good news for both of them is that for the first time in their careers, they may finally find some relief on that front.
In fact, it’s going to be exhilarating to see what both can do with one another, considering that Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley both represent the best backcourt partner that either has ever played with.
Of course, considering that Donovan has only been in the NBA for two seasons, that’s not too surprising on his end. Even with everything that Ricky Rubio did well, Conley is simply a superior player. He’ll command much more attention on offense which should allow Mitchell to have more space to operate, better looks and more opportunities to score all around.
But even though Conley has been in the league for 12 years, Mitchell is still the most prolific player that he’ll have ever teamed up with in the backcourt. Following the All-Star break last year, Donovan put up 26.7 points per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 45.1 percent from three. He’s a prolific offensive weapon who can shoot the ball while also getting to the rim at will. Teams have been forced to double and triple team him in the postseason just to keep him in check.
Exhausting so many resources to stop him won’t work any longer, though, now that the Jazz have Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and others. With teams having to pick their poison between Mitchell and Conley, I suspect both will have prolific seasons.
Conley has played with a handful of dynamic guards such as O.J. Mayo and defensive specialist Tony Allen, but for the most part when looking back at his shooting guard counterparts, it’s been a lackluster pool. The blessing of playing along an ace like Mitchell could very well open things up for Conley in a way he never before imagined. And the same could be said for Mitchell who has been accustomed to being crowded in a largely non-shooting lineup led by Ricky Rubio.
In other words, Utah Jazz fans are in for an absolute treat this upcoming season. As good as Mitchell and Conley have both already proven to be, they’ve never had the luxury of playing alongside a fellow guard as dynamic as the other. The opportunities they provide one another could very well result in both having incredible seasons and taking massive strides from a year ago. That’s saying a lot considering that Mitchell ended the year in superb fashion and Conley is coming off the best season of his lengthy NBA career.
But the Jazz are serious about contending for a title this upcoming year. And if they truly end up able to do so, it will likely be largely thanks to the incredible dynamic duo of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, who will make up the best backcourt pairing either has ever been a part of.