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Mike Conley’s Availability Brought Into Question For Game 2 Mavericks-Wolves

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Mike Conley's Availability Brought Into Question For Game 2 Mavericks-Wolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves suffered a narrow but damaging loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite outscoring the Mavericks by 36 points from beyond the arc, the Timberwolves lost the contest by three points, courtesy of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combining for 63 points. Minnesota finds itself in a must-win scenario in Game 2, but they could have to find a way to do it without Mike Conley.

The veteran guard’s name popped up on the NBA’s latest injury report. The 36-year-old has been listed as questionable with a right soleus strain. Conley has been struggling with the injury since sustaining it in the dying moments of the Timberwolves’ Game 4 loss against the Denver Nuggets in the second round.

He missed Minnesota’s Game 5 loss in Denver but returned and helped them win Games 6 and 7, and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Conley’s injury flared up in the series opener against the Mavericks, as he struggled to find his shooting rhythm. He shot 1-of-6 from the floor and converted just 25% of free throw attempts in Game 1 against Dallas.

The injury certainly played a role in his dismal outing and the Timberwolves will probably have him go through a fitness test before deciding whether to play or bench him in Game 2. As long as the injury doesn’t leave him incapacitated, Conley is likely suit up and play.

Why Game 2 is essentially a must-win for the Timberwolves

With or without Mike Conley, the Timberwolves have to find a way to win Game 2. They cannot afford to go to Dallas down 0-2 because historically, it’s a deficit that teams don’t often recover from. Of the 456 teams that have fallen 0-2 in a playoff series, only 36 have managed to overturn it and win the series. Of those 36, only five teams lost the first two games at home and advanced to the next round.

Coincidentally, the Mavericks were involved in two of the last three series where the home team lost the first two games but managed to win the series. In the 2005 playoffs, they fell behind 0-2 against the Houston Rockets but clawed back into the series and won 4-3. In 2021, they led 2-0 against the Los Angeles Clippers after beating them twice at the Arena. However, the star-studded LA roster was too much to handle for Luka Doncic and co., who lost the series 4-3.

However, this Mavericks team is significantly better than the one that blew the 2-0 lead against the Clippers in 2021. Losing Game 2 could be a fatal blow to the Timberwolves’ chances of earning their first trip to the NBA Finals, and while they do possess the talent to mount a comeback, the odds would be stacked against them.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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