SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz will not have its All-Star point guard for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight.
Mike Conley has been ruled out with a right hamstring strain he suffered during last week’s series-clinching Game 5 win against Memphis.
Conley partially participated in Monday’s practice, but was not deemed healthy enough to play on Tuesday.
“It’s just gonna push other guys to step up tonight,” said NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson. “We still gotta stay aggressive, take our shots, stick to the system. It’s a huge void to fill.”
Joe Ingles is expected to start in Conley’s place.
“Joe played the point for about the last month of the season, and that’s a heavy load,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “I don’t think anyone would call Joe a point guard. he is a playmaker.”
Conley missed nine games down the stretch of the regular season with a hamstring strain, and the Jazz went 6-3 in his absence. He also missed six games in February with that same hamstring injury.
The Jazz are hoping Conley can return for Game 2 on Thursday.
“Hopefully we get him back as quickly as possible,” Snyder said. “But those things are tricky.”
Conley averaged 17.4 points and 8.6 assists per game for the top-seeded Jazz in the first round win over the Grizzlies.