Mike Conley has learned he can’t just rely on his quickness to be one of the best point guards in the NBA. So he bulked up and got stronger. Conley said he has added some muscle to his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. He thinks the added bulk is helping him finish plays in traffic — like he did against San Antonio. Conley took the contact from the Spurs’ 6-6, 220-pound Danny Green but still scored the game-winning layup with 0.6 seconds to play. “He’s much stronger and much more mature,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said of the 25-year-old Conley. “He knows how to pace himself a little better. Plus as you saw when he was in there with J.B. (Jerryd Bayless), J.B. was doing all the work and Mike was just waiting for an open shot. Sometimes that helps as well. He has gotten stronger, and he has just gotten better. He made the big three, and then he made the layup to win the game and that was huge for us.” The six-year veteran is having his best season yet just as the Grizzlies push to start the postseason with home-court advantage for a second straight year. The Grizzlies (50-24) are tied with Denver (50-24) and have a 11/2 game lead over the Clippers in the push for the No. 3 and 4 seeds in the Western Conference. They start a three-game road swing tonight at Portland. Conley has improved in nearly every category since the All-Star break. During March, he averaged 17.6 points a game with 7.2 assists, including a career-best 15 on March 12 at Portland. The Grizzlies are 10-3 this season when Conley scores 20 or more points, and he’s done that six times since March 18, counting his 23 points against the Spurs.
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley thrives with help of extra muscle
Tennessean | Apr 3