Timberwolves' veteran point guard has his sights set on a deep playoff run

Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

12-year veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr. is being publicly vocal about how much he wants to make a championship run.

"My urgency is at an all-time high. I don't think there's anyone on either team that wants it more than me."

Mike Conley Jr.

Conley Jr. was the fourth pick of the 2007 NBA Draft and despite his extremely successful career, having made the playoffs 11 times, he has yet to make the Conference Finals. 

There is added pressure on Conley Jr. in this first-round matchup because the two players taken right before him were Boston Celtics center Al Horford and playoff foe Kevin Durant. 

With the Celtics seemingly having a yellow brick road ahead of them for a Finals run, Conley Jr. has a chance of going head-to-head against both of them in what would be a historic Timberwolves playoff run.

While there is no realistic way for Conley Jr. to ever catch Kevin Durant’s career to be considered the best to come out of the 2007 draft class, winning a championship this season could push him above Horford and former teammate Marc Gasol as the second-best player in the class. 

According to Basketball Reference, Conley Jr. has a 0.8 percent chance to make the NBA Hall of Fame with Gasol having a 4.0 percent chance, and Horford at 12.0 percent. 

The veteran point guard will not have to do much talking to motivate center and teammate Rudy Gobert. Similar to Conley Jr., Gobert has never been to the Conference Finals despite being a potential 4-time Defensive Player of the Year and suiting up for numerous high-seeded Utah Jazz teams.

The French star recently spoke at a press conference, discussing the opportunity ahead of him and combatting the noise saying he's not a playoff performer. 

"I haven’t been past the second round yet, so how can I be mad at them for challenging me to do that…I have to earn their respect."

Rudy Gobert

The Timberwolves have been blown out in every regular season game against the Suns but proved to be a worthy opponent in game one. DraftKings and other sportsbooks have the six-seeded Suns as the slight underdogs even though they lost by 25 points on Saturday.

Between guard Anthony Edwards and forward Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves have several players hungry to advance deep in the playoffs—aside from their 36-year-old point guard.

It's up to the veteran Conley Jr. to keep the young stars’ emotions in check and avoid mental errors that have plagued the Wolves repeatedly to keep the crib secure.