Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley says he wants to play in Game 2 vs. Warriors after missing the last three playoff games while recovering from facial surgery.
Conley was injured in Game 3 of the Grizzlies' first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers after he was elbowed in the face by Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum. He later needed surgery to repair facial fractures around his left eye.
Conley will start Game 2 Tuesday night. Golden State leads the best-of-seven series 1–0 after a 101–86 victory on Sunday.
Grizzlies head coach David Joerger previously said Conley was doubtful for Game 2.
"He's doing better and better," Joerger said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "He did increased activity today, and he'll be listed as doubtful again. If he plays, that'll be great. I'm planning on him not playing, and if he plays, that's a bonus."
Conley was optimistic about his chances to play in Game 2 despite his doubtful status.
“I believe I will, but I've believed that the last week," Conley said, according to the Mercury News. "I'm really hoping for tomorrow. They tell me I can play once I'm ready, and I feel I'm ready to go. It's on me, and I think I made the right decision."
Conley tried wearing a plastic mask in practice, although he says he has no vision problems in his left eye.
"It gets pretty hot and foggy in there,” Conley said about the mask.
Conley averaged 16 points and 3.7 assists in the three games he played against Portland. He said he hadn’t considered how many minutes he would play when he was cleared to play.
"If I don't play fearless, that's when you get hurt," he added, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "So I'm going to go out and play fearless like I always do, attack and try to be aggressive. I can't be scared out there. I never play scared regardless of my injuries. I feel comfortable the mask will take care of any blows that I get, and I just have to hope and pray I don't get any further damage."
- Scooby Axson