2) Thunder from Down Under
Although he’s cooled somewhat over the last two contest, Joe Ingles has been killing it from the perimeter. Entering the Jazz’s bout with NOLA, he’s knocked down over 54 percent of his field goal attempts and 15 of his 30 shots from distance for a cool 50 percent.
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Maybe he was onto something when he called himself the game’s best shooter.
But it’s not just his shooting that’s been good. Ingles’ all-around play has given him the look of an older, Aussier, less athletic Hayward. Through four games, he’s putting up a near 17-5-5 line and ranking in the top four league-wide in steals per game at 2.3.
As good as he’s been though, I may be more excited by the play of the team’s other import from Down Under. Mark my words — Dante Exum is on the verge of a breakout year.
For the first time in forever, the former No. 5 overall pick is looking healthy and fully integrated into Coach Snyder’s attack. And, aside from a 2-of-11 night against the Grizzlies last week, he’s consistently been one of Utah’s better performers.
Exum opened the season with back-to-back 13-point nights and had some big moments in the Jazz’s win over the Rockets on Wednesday. He still needs to work on his finishing and long-range jumpshooting, but his first step remains explosive and he’s definitely showing more confidence from behind the arc.
Also — he’s still locking down James Harden.