For most of his short NBA career, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley has merely been solid.
Entering the league in the 2007-08 season, Conley didn’t shoot particularly well and averaged 9.4 points and 4.2 assists per game.
In his second season the 6-1, 185-pound Conley improved his three-point shooting range and free throw shooting, but the rest of his game didn’t show much improvement.
The time has come for him to make a strong impression on Grizzlies management.
Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:
Conley has received a strong message. The coaching staff is demanding he be more assertive and in charge of a group that features strong personalities and offensive wills.
Under Hollins, Conley already proved he is a credible NBA point guard. The pressure this season is for Conley to build on his personal gains and prove his position isn’t in need of an upgrade.
“I don’t want to be the weak link,” Conley said. “You want to be a key part of why a team is winning. It forces me to look at the game differently. I’ve got to be a force so that guys can’t sag off me or take me for granted.
“I know people may have given up and lost interest in me, but I use all of that as motivation. The people who doubt me, I try to go out and prove them wrong. I know I can help make this team better. I’m at the point now where I feel like people are going to realize that I belong in this league.”
Conley’s shooting has been good this preaseason. But he must soon prove that he’s capable of being a starter on a winning team.