The Utah Jazz are opening their first-round playoff series with an undrafted rookie in the starting lineup.
Forward Juwan Morgan will move into Utah’s starting lineup vs. Denver for Game 1 of the series (1:30 ET, ESPN) as the Jazz adjust to life without Mike Conley. Per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, Morgan will start at power forward. The rest of the Jazz lineup will consist of Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles in the backcourt and Royce O’Neal and Rudy Gobert in the frontcourt.
Jazz starting Rudy Gobert at 5, Morgan at 4, Royce O’Neale at 3, Joe Ingles at 2, Donovan Mitchell at 1.
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) August 17, 2020
Morgan appeared in 21 games this season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 6.4 mpg. In the season restart, Morgan played in five of Utah’s eight games, averaging 3.4 ppg and 2.0 rpg in 12.1 mpg.
The Jazz said Conley left Walt Disney World on Sunday to return to Columbus, Ohio, for the birth of his son. Conley posted on Instagram last night that Elijah Michael Conley was born.
Players who leave the bubble are subject to a quarantine upon their return, though the length won’t be determined until then.
It’s a blow to a Jazz team already missing Bojan Bogdanovic, who underwent right wrist surgery in May. Denver and Utah are also scheduled to play Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The 32-year-old Conley is averaging 14.4 points and 4.4 assists in his first season with Utah. He was acquired as part of a deal with Memphis on July 6, 2019.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.