Mike Conley beats Zach LaVine to win NBA HORSE competition

It hadn’t the kind of season Mike Conley had hoped for. Injuries and struggles to find a rhythm in the Utah offense led to arguably his worst season in the league since he was a rookie (or maybe sophomore), although there were signs in the final 10 games or so before the shut down that he’d gotten healthy and found a comfort level.

Winning the NBA’s HORSE competition is a reminder Conley has skills — and knows how to use both hands.

Conley defeated the Bulls’ Zach LaVine in the finals to take the competition, and with that win $200,000 that will be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Conley had advantages — he was at an indoor gym, the only remaining player who was. Plus, he broke out a treasure chest of trick shots to beat Chauncey Billups in the semifinals — spinning the ball on his finger then trying to punch it in the basket, over the backboard, and spinning on one leg then hitting a shot from the top of the key.

Conley defeated Billups while LaVine knocked off WNBA star Allie Quigley in a tight semifinal where the Bulls’ star used his athleticism to his advantage.

Throughout the competition, it was Conley’s ability to score with both hands that separated him from the pack.

LaVine can get buckets with both hands as well, but in the end not as well as Conley, who wins the title.

After the NBA 2K Players tournament, there was a lot of talk about bringing that back even after the NBA returns to action. The HORSE competition, on the other hand, was a reminder of why this got dropped from All-Star weekend.