Four things the Utah Jazz should try in order to jump start the team

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a second half foul during their 112-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 01, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a second half foul during their 112-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 01, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – NOVEMBER 01: Joe Ingles (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – NOVEMBER 01: Joe Ingles (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Give Joe Ingles the greenest of green lights from deep

Joe Ingles is a much more versatile and capable player than he gets credit for, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is best known for his ability to burn the nets from beyond the arc. He was among the NBA’s best three-point shooters last season at 44.1 percent and so far this year on over two more attempts per game, he’s shooting a prolific 45.2 percent.

And while it remains to be seen whether he can maintain that efficient mark for the entire season, the fact of the matter is that he needs to simply let it fly.

All too often the Jazz find themselves with the opposing defense packing the paint, swarming Rudy Gobert and making it nearly impossible for him or other Jazzmen to impose their will down low. While it will certainly take more than just one guy lighting it up from three, if Ingles can become even more of a deadly deep-ball threat, it will go a long ways in spreading the floor, helping Utah’s offense gain more flow and allowing them to find easier baskets.

Unfortunately, in some ways this is easier said than done as I realize there are two concerns regarding Joe Ingles and his opportunity to simply let shots fly from deep. First of all, last year the Jazz commanded a lot more attention on the perimeter with the likes of Gordon Hayward and George Hill beyond the arc. That led to a lot of wide open shots for Ingles on which he certainly capitalized.

According to NBA.com’s player tracking, last season 51.7 percent of his overall shots were “open” (closest defender 4-6 feet away) or “wide open” (closet defender 6+ feet away) three-pointers which he converted nearly 45 percent of the time. This season, teams aren’t caught unaware by Joe Ingles and are certainly doing more to keep him in check and not allow him wide open looks that he’s so skilled at making. Therefore, getting up good looks from three-point land won’t be quite as easy for Ingles as it was last year.

Nevertheless, small sample size aside and in spite of this year’s heightened attention, Ingles is still converting on 45.2 percent of his three-point shots, which leads very well into the next concern regarding Jinglin’ Joe raining shots from deep.

He has to stop being so passive.

Even head coach Quin Snyder has made it clear on multiple occasions that he’d like to see Joe shoot more often and with a Jazz offense that is desperate for more points in whatever way it can get them, it’s vital that Ingles gets up even more attempts and shows no hesitancy whatsoever to pull the trigger from deep when the shot is there.

Considering that guys like James Harden, Steph Curry and Eric Gordon are all hoisting up around 10 three-point attempts per game and many players that aren’t nearly as efficient as Ingles are in the six to eight attempts per game range, there’s no reason why Ingles’ 5.6 attempts per game can’t and shouldn’t go up.

Dropping threes is absolutely Ingles’ specialty and, for better or for worse, is one of the best offensive weapons that the Jazz have, so they absolutely have to use it. If he’s able to make it even more of a strength for himself, it should also help to spread the floor, allowing easier looks for other players, particularly Rudy Gobert, who’s been completely smothered on defense so far this season.

Combine more threes for Joe with better looks inside and around the perimeter from his teammates and that’s a quick way to jump start what’s been an idling Jazz offense.

Next: Utah Jazz rookie round-up 11/8: Donovan Mitchell our new scoring leader?

As I said near the beginning of this piece, it’s too early in the year to panic, but there’s certainly plenty of causes for alarm for the Utah Jazz. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that some of their wrongs can’t be righted at this point of the season.

That isn’t to say that there’s any one easy quick fix or that all or any of the ideas I’ve suggested will work. But trying them out is far better than expecting the same unsuccessful tactics to start working or that the Jazz can magically get better without making changes. They’re in a bad spot right now and, quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse.

Therefore, regardless of whether they’d end up panning out or not, all four of these suggestions are definitely worth the risk.

All stats courtesy of NBA.com