Nov 2, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) sits on the bench during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Conley entered his tenth NBA season this year, and the Memphis Grizzlies point guard is frustrated that he’s never made an All-Star team. 

If you never heard of Mike Conley before this summer, it’s not surprising. For the last nine-plus years, the 29-year-old point guard has quietly been a key piece in the Grizzlies’ puzzle, and his performances have been overshadowed by the NBA’s other elite guards.

His name became a household one after he inked a $153 million deal this summer which led to endless questions about whether he deserved it or not. “It’s very frustrating, but I know my team feels like I am, I feel like I am that All-Star-caliber guy,” Conley said to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

Conley went on to say he felt he earned an All-Star spot, but the numbers don’t back it up. And numbers are the only things that matter when deciding All-Stars.

His career averages are modest — 13.9 points, 5.6 assists, 44.1 percent shooting — and only one year before this one would’ve been All-Star worthy. Back in 2013-14, Conley was putting up 18 points and handing out more than six assists a night before that season’s All-Star game, but that didn’t cut it.

Ahead of him was Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard. If anything, Conley would’ve replaced Parker. And it’s arguable that he should have.

Regardless, not making an All-Star team is not an indicator of how skilled someone is; not only is it based on numbers, it’s a popularity contest, and Conley flies under the radar with the Grizzlies. Their grit-and-grind style of play doesn’t get noticed too often, but there’s substance in their style.

Moreover, he’s one of the NBA’s best two-way guards, and I’ll go as far to say that Chris Paul is the only point guard that’s better than Conley defensively. On top of that, he’s a leader. He commands the floor when he’s out there, and he’s as big a piece on offense as Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph.

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During his time in the league, Conley has laced up for 50 playoffs games. He’s made the postseason each year for the last six and reached the Western Conference Finals back in 2013.

Conley wasn’t able to suit up for the playoffs last year because of an Achilles injury, but he’s playing at a noticeably higher level this year and has the Grizzlies in the fourth seed out West.

Memphis is riding a five-game winning streak with quality wins over the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets. Their recent hot stretch puts them at 9-5 on the year, and a former Ohio State Buckeye has been the driving force.

In those five victories, Conley has knocked down 57 percent of his threes and is averaging 20 points a night. Furthermore, he’s at 1.8 steals per contest, and his defensive rating sits at 96 per 100 possessions — all with a usage rate of 22.6.

We probably won’t be seeing Conley in New Orleans this year. For that to happen, he’d have to boast better numbers than CP3, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry, and I’m not too confident in that happening.

What I am confident in is the Grizzlies making the playoffs, and playoff victories are worth their weight in gold when compared to All-Star appearances.

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