The Story of One-Eyed Charlie and Mike Conley's Ever-Visible Value
"Mike Conley is so underrated."
We hear that phrase way too much nowadays. Let me rephrase that -- any time that phrase is spoken still is one too many. Conley has been underrated for so long now that it really shouldn't be a thing anymore. He's very good and is definitely teetering on the edge of elite. He should no longer be underrated, and he showed us why last night in Game 2 at Oracle Arena.
Conley took his whole repertoire, season, and career and put it into a nice little nutshell for us last night. His value to his Memphis team couldn't be more apparent on a national TV stage -- well, considering the fact that he wore a mask, got winded easily, and even cramped up near the end of the game.
When you take those things into consideration it's just another reason -- toughness -- as to why the newly dubbed One-Eyed Charlie is so valuable to this Grizzlies team.
Conley is great in the mid-range. His crafty floaters and ability to hit them with either hand is a big reason why. And whether this was meant to be one or not is irrelevant if you ask me.
We’ll just pretend this was meant to be a floater pic.twitter.com/ziNNeAe3xu— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) May 6, 2015
Conley shot 8-of-12 from the floor, but he was 5-of-6 from 10 to 16 feet, a place where he can be oh so effective.
That's not the only place though. A masked Conley shot 3-of-6 from deep, from where he has shot nearly 39% this season.
Conley was efficient from the field, in large part because of the effectiveness of the Conley-Gasol pick-and-roll. It's a thing of beauty to watch the two operate in the pick-and-roll, and the two executed it as well as ever against the league's best defense.
The Memphis offense sorely missed that weapon in Game 1, a game in which Nick Calathes went 0-for-4 from the field with 0 points. Zero.
In Game 1, Steph Curry had a Steph Curry-type game against the likes of Calathes and Beno Udrih. The now reigning MVP put up 22 points (on 8-of-18 shooting and 4-of-8 from three) and 7 assists against the backup point men.
That's not a surprise because neither Calathes nor Udrih possess the speed and quickness to keep up with Curry and his arsenal of offensive skills.
Against Conley last night, it was a whole different story.
Conley helped to hold the MVP to 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting (2-of-11 from deep!), all below Curry's season long MVP-caliber numbers. And that's with Steph playing 41 minutes and Conley playing for his first time in 10 days with a plate in his face.
Mike Conley One-Eyed Charlie, ladies and gentlemen.
He's a great all-around NBA point guard and a Memphis-tough leader, and if you didn't know that before last night, then you know it now.