The new Utah Jazz backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley looks to be one of the best in the West. But just how do they measure up to the other elite guard duos?
To put it bluntly, there have been a whole lot of changes this NBA offseason. An unprecedented number of stars have changed teams, leaving the league’s landscape absolutely altered. Although the Utah Jazz aren’t receiving near the hype for their player acquisitions as some teams such as the LA Clippers, who brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Los Angeles Lakers, who brought in Anthony Davis, or the Houston Rockets who just traded for Russell Westbrook, their moves this offseason were solid in their own way because they filled Utah’s most crucial needs.
Most importantly of all, they added Mike Conley, who figures to be the best point guard the Jazz have had since Deron Williams, and, for the first time, will allow Donovan Mitchell to play alongside a true creator who can both get his own shot and break down the opposing defense. The two of them ought to fit each other seamlessly and create a daunting one-two punch.
Especially if Mitchell can keep up his turn-of-the-calendar-year level of play where he posted over 26 points per game on highly efficient shooting splits, the Mitchell-Conley pairing has a shot to be one of the best backcourts in the Western Conference in spite of the West’s depth and talent. But just how good could they be?
Well, of all the backcourts in the West, the Jazz’s might be the biggest wild card as Mitchell is the largest mystery of just how big a leap he’ll take in 2019-20. Meanwhile, even Conley leaves some things in question considering that he has never before played with as prolific of a two-guard as Donovan Mitchell. The pressure Spida will take off of him as he teams up with an incredible teammate could very well help Conley have one of the most effective seasons of his career.
But, of course, while we can dream about it during the offseason and speculate what it looks like on paper, until the games are actually played we have no idea how things will actually turn out. Nevertheless, by way of projection and basing on what we know now, I’ve compiled a list of the top backcourts in the Western Conference, including where that of the Utah Jazz will fall.