Conley

Mike Conley is worth the price of admission

In the midsts of downtrodden season, Mike Conley posted yet another quality year that will go unrecognized. He was snubbed from the All-Star team for the millionth time. He is getting no buzz for an All-NBA roster spot. Not even simple honorable mention type talk.

The Grizzlies were bad this year. They traded other franchise icon Marc Gasol away at the deadline. Their exciting unicorn was shut down early due to injury. They traded away the wrong Brooks, only to renege on the deal and ship away the other Brooks for someone that wasn’t helpful. They employed the Family Guy Manatees to oversee roster decisions somewhere along the lines, the only rationale possible for signing Joakim Noah.

Through it all, Conley was excellent. He will be under appreciated again this season, but his age does not seem to be catching up with him for the time being. Conley has one year left on his deal before a player option for 2020-21. A trade is possible this offseason. This may be his last final year in Memphis, or there are two more seasons left before he hits free agency. Either way, he was the single biggest treat for Grizzlies fans in 2018-19.

The Data

There is much to get through here, but the simple reality is Conley was good any way you slice it.

Proprietary

Here at the BBall-Index, we have some great data. In addition to the awesome PIPM, we have our own grading system to track players in 11 categories. Furthermore, our POE data illustrates how well a player is performance against expectations. For Conley, the common thread is he shows well in all metrics.

As of this writing, Conley stands 25th in the entire league in PIPM. Among point guards, he is 8th, which can be viewed as 7th if you personally consider James Harden a shooting guard.

His report card is also fantastic.

Conley posted four grades of A- or better, which held when compared to his peers (although one of the categories changed). He positively impacted both ends of the floor, while carrying a massive offensive burden. While neither proprietary or a perfect stat, the Memphis offense posted a 105.6 offensive rating with Conley on the floor this year, and plummeted to 98.6 when Conley sat.

Even more encouragingly, Conley’s grades from this season are in line with the grades we have on record.

This is Conley’s second best season in the database, behind 2016-17. So much for his career taking a dive after his achilles injury from last year.

Lastly, Conley ranks 10th in the NBA in POE. This is unsurprising given his grades. Again he is well rounded, ranking 12th in CPOE, and 27th in DPOE.

Other Data

The other data around the e-webs is favorable as well. Conley is 25th in the league in RPM.ย Among point guards he ranks 9th, which again can be viewed as 8th if you personally consider Harden a shooting guard. He is 8th in the entire NBA in luck adjusted RAPM, and either 2nd or 3rd among point guards depending on how you view Jrue Holiday. When the only player better than you at your position is Steph Curry, you had a fantastic season.

Conley’s shooting numbers this season were right around his career norm.

Stat

2018-19 Career

FG%

44.1%

43.8%

2P%

48.3% 47%

3P%

36.4%

37.5%

eFG% 50.7%

49.8%

FT% 84.5%

81.9%

TS% 56.9%

54.8%

All that, and he is about to post the highest usage rate of his career. Along with that, Conley should finish the season with his second highest career mark in both assist rate as well as turnover rate. Depending on the final few games, he may log the second highest free throw rate of his career in addition.

Highlights

Shooting

Part of why Conley maintained his 2P% is that he is ambidextrous with his floater game.

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Conley is shooting 49.4% from 3′-10′. He is killing it in floater range. His career average from that distance is 39.4%. Conley also was nearly 40 percentage points above his career average from 10′-16′ this season, shooting 42.9% on the year, compared to his 39% norm. He did outperform his normal accuracy in the long mid-range as well, hitting 42.3% of shots from 16′ out to the three-point line, almost 20 points higher than his career 40.5% mark.

Additionally, Conley shot 49% on corner threes this season, 60 points higher than the 43% for his career.

Dime Dropping

As shown in his career grades, Conley has an A in playmaking. If we throw out the 2017-18 season in which he logged only 373 minutes, Conley has consistently earned an A in the category for each season the data covers. And as previously stated, he is on pace to log the second best assist rate of his career.

At age 31, his passing ability has not declined whatsoever.

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Kidding-Not-Kidding

Put Conley 3rd team All-NBA as a life time achievement award/sorry you got snubbed from six All-Star appearances.

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