Utah Jazz: Quin Snyder Has High Praise for “the Joes” in Recent Interview

Jan 23, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (6) and forward Joe Ingles (2) react in front of Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) during the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (6) and forward Joe Ingles (2) react in front of Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) during the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder had several positive things to say about Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles in a recent interview with 1280 The Zone.

Following the Utah Jazz’s solid win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, head coach Quin Snyder took some time the following day to speak with The Zone Sports Network to discuss the impressive victory as well as the overall current state of the team.

The entire interview is a great listen and Coach Snyder’s high praise of the team as a whole is not only encouraging but also very well deserved. You can catch the whole thing by clicking the link in the tweet below:

While there is certainly a lot to glean from Snyder’s comments, what stood out the very most to me was his thoughts regarding Utah’s pair of Joes – Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles, or as they’re also known, Iso Joe and Slo-Mo Joe.

One of the major points that he brought up about Johnson was his effectiveness at the power forward spot. Playing at the four certainly isn’t a new experience for the veteran as he logged his best minutes in Miami at the position, but despite having ample opportunity to do so with the Jazz, Johnson hasn’t consistently been slotted as Utah’s power forward.

However, of late that has changed in a big way and it’s benefitted the Jazz immensely. Many Jazz fans had been clamoring for Johnson to log more minutes at the power forward spot throughout the year and following the win in early February over the Charlotte Hornets where Joe Johnson was inserted into Utah’s closing lineup and came up huge down the clutch, even I got into the mix, applauding him for his incredible play at the position.

Since that time, and particularly since the All-Star break, he’s logged considerably more minutes at the four-spot and as you can see from the tweets below courtesy of David Locke, it’s provided an enormous boost for the Jazz:

In the wake of Derrick Favors‘ injury, Joe Johnson actually got the start at power forward in Wednesday’s victory over Houston and once again was phenomenal, finishing with 16 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from deep.

Considering how effective Joe Johnson has been at the position combined with the ongoing struggles of Favors, Boris Diaw and Trey Lyles, it comes as no surprise that during yesterday’s interview, Snyder made it clear that he intends to give Iso Joe a lot more run at the four-spot moving forward:

He backed up this decision by further pointing out Johnson’s ability to fit in well alongside Rudy Gobert and the rest of the starters as well as his physical strength that allows him defensively to put up a fight even against power forwards of the caliber of Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin.

Johnson’s ability to stretch the floor offensively without being a liability on defense make him an awesome fit for the Jazz at the four-spot. Throw in his veteran savviness, playoff experience and dynamite basketball IQ, and Jazz Nation should be in for a real treat to have him log significant time at the power forward position for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs.

Beyond the praise for Johnson, Snyder went on to give significant shout-outs during the interview to the likes of Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto among others, but as I mentioned earlier, what stood out most drastically to me was his commending of Joe Ingles.

In fact, Coach Snyder went as far as to say that Ingles has become Utah’s “best wing defender.”

This may come as a bold and surprising statement to some, but to those who have watched Ingles in action, there’s no questioning the veracity of the statement. Ingles has been matched-up against the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James and has done an effective job against each.

Though Ingles may not necessarily look it, Snyder praised his athleticism and pointed to his feistiness and ability to serve as an irritant as key reasons as to why Slo-Mo Joe has enjoyed such success defensively against some of the best in the league.

And of course, his excellence as a wing defender goes beyond just the eye test because, as Snyder put it, the proof is in the pudding. Not only is Ingles the Jazz’s steal leader at 1.2 takeaways per game, he’s also third on the team in defensive win shares and near the top of the Jazz roster in terms of defensive rating and defensive box plus/minus, landing well above the league average in those categories.

From both an offensive perspective, particularly in terms of his three-point shooting, and a defensive perspective, it would have been hard to believe how prolific Joe Ingles would become even just a year ago. Nevertheless, there’s no denying how well he’s proved himself this year and Snyder’s high praise is undoubtedly well-deserved as Ingles has turned into a vital piece of Utah’s success.

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So while it may be Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert or George Hill who grab the headlines more often than not for the Jazz, the team certainly wouldn’t be where they are today without help from “the Joes” who have become two of the most effective role players in the league.

And as the Jazz look to make an undeniable statement down the stretch run of the season, you can bet that Joe Johnson’s minutes at the four-spot and Joe Ingles’ time locking down some of the best players on opposing teams will help this Jazz team become a daunting force come playoff time.

All stats courtesy of NBA.com and basketball-reference.com