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NBA playoffs 2021: What Mike Conley's absence means for the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers

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How much does Mike Conley's absence change the Utah Jazz's outlook in a Western Conference semifinal showdown against the LA Clippers?

After missing the Jazz's Game 1 win Tuesday in Salt Lake City, Conley has again been ruled out of Game 2 due to a mild strain of his right hamstring, which he suffered as they closed out the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round last Wednesday.

That means Utah must try to continue winning without its starting point guard, who this season made his long-overdue first All-Star appearance at age 33.

How big a factor is Conley's loss as the Clippers try to begin another series comeback after losing the first two games and going down 3-2 in the opening round against the Dallas Mavericks? Let's break it down.


Jazz without Conley

Conley has dealt with right hamstring injuries all season. He missed six games due to tightness in the hamstring in February and nine more beginning in late April, returning for the final two games of the regular season to prepare for the playoffs. He also sat out five games for injury management with the hamstring, accounting for 20 of the 21 games he missed during the regular season.

Despite Conley's April absence overlapping with one for All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, Utah went 15-6 (.714) without him, only marginally worse than the team's .725 winning percentage in games he started. The Jazz's record without Conley was still better than any other team posted during the regular season.

But taking a deeper look at Utah's performance and adjusting for opponent shows an interesting trend.