How could anyone not respect the game of Utah Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles?
Joe Ingles has never been the type of player who jumps off the screen. He’s not particularly fast or athletic; after all, Basketball Reference lists “Slow-Mo Joe” as one of his nicknames. And despite being listed at 6-foot-8, he only has one dunk this season and 23 in his seven-year NBA career.
Although he might not have all the physical attributes that are so coveted in today’s NBA, Ingles has managed to become a critical piece of a Utah Jazz team that currently holds the best record in the league (33-11).
There are, however, some things that Joe Ingles brings to the court that few other players do. One of the skills that have made him a Utah fan favorite as well as a premier player for the best team in the league this year is his steady shooting.
Lights-out shooting from the Utah Jazz veteran
Joe Ingles has always been considered a solid shooter from the perimeter. What some people may fail to understand is just how hot his shooting has been this season.
He is currently third in the NBA in 3-point precision, shooting a tremendous 48.6 percent from deep.
Ingles is also currently leading the league in true shooting percentage at 72.5 percent. The next closest person to him on the list is Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen, whose true shooting is 67.6 percent but rarely ever shoots from long range, unlike Ingles, who is attempting 5.5 threes per game.
Aged to perfection
Despite being 33 years old, the Australian international is perhaps having the best year of his career, shooting higher percentages from the field and from 3-point land than he ever has before. In his seventh year in the league, he’s also having his best shooting year from the charity stripe (87.2 percent) and is roughly tied with his career-high scoring average at 12.0 points per game.
A big reason it is all coming together for Ingles this season is his shot selection.
According to NBA.com, two-thirds of the 3-pointers he takes are when the closest defender is four or more feet away from him. So despite taking around the same amount of triples as he has in the past, the looks he’s been getting this season have been for the most part wide open.
That’s not to say Joe Ingles can’t make shots with a bit of pressure in his face, but part of what makes him such a great shooter isn’t just his knack for getting open looks; it’s his uncanny ability to get a shot off before the defense has time to get to him.
He has perfected the art of the catch-and-shoot. When he receives a pass, he rarely ever wastes time gathering himself to shoot. Ingles has gotten off 46.5 percent of his threes in under two seconds this year, hitting catch-and-shoot threes at a rate of just under 52 percent.
The disrespect toward the Jazz this season has been well-documented. And it’s safe to assume that teams are going to be working harder to slow them down than they did in the first half of the season.
This means that teams will likely try to run Joe Ingles off the 3-point line.
However, with their two All-Star guards, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, both averaging over five assists per game, it’s safe to assume that the Utah Jazz will continue to find ways to keep Jinglin’ Joe’s scorching-hot shooting going as they look to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.