How serious is it? What happened to the Utah Jazz guard?

How serious is it? What happened to the Utah Jazz guard?

Portland, Ore. • While the Utah Jazz’s early season success has been a fun story around the league, there has been much speculation that the team is one Mike Conley injury or trade away from total ruin .

Well, about that…

At 10:30 Saturday night in the third quarter at the Moda Center, the 16-year-old guard was chasing Blazers star Damian Lillard around a screen when his left leg buckled and he fell to the clue. After sitting on the hardwood for a few minutes while trainers did an initial evaluation, he was eventually helped on his back and later ruled out returning as he underwent an MRI.

Still, the night didn’t turn into an abject calamity.

First, the point guard approached Jazz PR after the game with an offer to speak with reporters and provide an update on his status. He crossed the small, crowded locker room with a pronounced limp, though he attributed it to prolonged icing on his left knee.

When asked how he felt, Conley was blunt but also upbeat.

“Pain. Probably as good as I could feel watching it [what happened],” he said. “We’re just waiting. I already had an MRI so waiting to get the info back. But everything seems to be going well.”

After the MRI was performed at the arena, the scans were sent to team doctors in Salt Lake City, where an evaluation was performed Sunday. The determination? Conley avoided serious injury, but will still miss some time.

Despite a report that Conley had sprained his knee and would miss at least two weeks, team sources revealed Sunday evening that that diagnosis and timeline aren’t necessarily correct. The MRI cleared Conley of any major structural damage; beyond that, he will miss Monday’s game against the Clippers, then be reevaluated by team doctors when the Jazz return to Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

He will then be re-evaluated daily from then on, potentially paving the way for him to return to action sooner.

When asked Saturday what exactly happened on the play, Conley admitted he wasn’t sure.

He was guarding Lillard, he went through a screen to avoid a 3-point attempt, and all of a sudden, “I went to take a step, and for whatever reason, on that step, my leg completely locked up and all my weight he went right back inside. my knee. I didn’t know what was going on at first. It probably felt worse at the time than it will.”

As he sat there, his knee aching, he started going through a mental list of possible injuries, ruling some out based on what he felt. Meanwhile, the team’s trainers ran some brief ligament tests and “early signs look like they’re all checking out.”

Meanwhile, Conley returned to the Jazz locker room just in time to watch the final two minutes of the game, which also didn’t turn out to be an inherent disaster. In those waning moments, he watched several companions rise in his absence clinched a 118-113 victory that put Utah back in first place in the Western Conference.

Conley & Co. they hope he doesn’t miss any extended time given how crucial he is to the team. Still, the likes of Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley and even backup point guard Talen Horton-Tucker showed that, at least tonight, Conley being out of action doesn’t have to spell impending catastrophe.

For starters, the 21-year-old Horton-Tucker, who has had considerable ups and downs as Conley’s primary backup this season, played 31:32 at point guard Saturday, totaling eight points, five rebounds and two assists, while also helping limit Lillard to 2-for-14 shooting before the Portland game also left early because of right calf strain.

“It’s just the overall poise that he played with — on the road, the second night in a row, his team is on a run, his crowd is going crazy, and he didn’t mess up,” he said trainer Will Hardy on THT. contribution

“His presence, his size, his length, everything he did late in the game for us was huge, it really propelled us to the win,” Clarkson added.

Beasley and Clarkson, meanwhile, provided one clutch bucket after another.

Although star forward Lauri Markkanen scored Utah’s first nine points of the game, his night was a bit subdued, as much as a 23-point, 10-rebound performance can be, relative to his incendiary performance on Friday night anyways.

Beasley, however, was incendiary again, burying six 3-pointers along the way posting a season-high point total for the second straight nightthis time with a total of 29. And Clarkson overcame a rough start that saw him miss his first six shots as he hit 10 of his last 17 attempts en route to 28 points and four assists.

“These guys have shown an affinity for big moments. I’ve called Beas a showman before, and I think that’s still true. And Jordan has his own style that he plays with,” Hardy said. “These guys have played in a lot of big games, and they’re not intimidated by those kinds of moments because they’ve been in a lot of them.”

In fact, 15 of Clarkson’s 28 points came in the fourth quarter alone, including a stretch of eight straight.

“Jordan wanted the ball,” Hardy added simply. “…Portland was changing at the time, and we felt like we were giving Jordan the right amount of space, that he could make some good decisions and have the ability to attack for himself or for a teammate.” .

Beasley said he was in Clarkson’s ear, encouraging him to keep shooting despite the growing pile of early misses.

“I kept telling JC, ‘Look, you’re going to take the next five shots,'” he said. “In the first half, he wasn’t hitting, so I said, ‘You’re going to make the next five; we’re going to need you to keep rolling.’ And he did.”

Clarkson, asked about their interaction, confirmed the basic details: “He was telling me the whole time, ‘The next one is going in, the next one is going in,’ so I don’t lose confidence.”

Wait… Clarkson does always really lose confidence?!

“Ummm… no!” he admitted, eliciting laughter. “I mean…no, no, no!”

Whether the other Jazz players can adequately replace Conley’s contributions beyond the final two quarters of Saturday’s game remains to be seen.

The process to prove they can start with Monday’s game against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

As Conley explained his injury, he noted, “It was a very uncomfortable feeling, but hopefully he’ll be OK.” That’s certainly a sentiment a Jazz team now without its starting point guard can relate to a bit.

#happened #Utah #Jazz #guard

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