Utah Jazz: 2 players splashing toward the same franchise record

Utah Jazz (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell are in reach of an all-time Utah Jazz high.

Perhaps lost in all the hoopla on Wednesday night was Joe Ingles moving up a notch on one particular Utah Jazz leaderboard.

Along his way to shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including a 3-for-3 clip from 3-point land, during No. 1 seed Utah’s series-tying 141-129 Game 2 home win over the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies, the savvy sharpshooter passed Deron Williams on the list of career 3-point makes by Jazzmen in the NBA Playoffs.

Now, Ingles sits No. 4 with his 78 all-time postseason splashes. Williams finished with 76.

A few major obstacles to the Utah Jazz veteran ever reaching the top

Currently, the 33-year-old Joe Ingles is still 48 shy of Bryon Russell, whose 126 playoff threes as a Utah Jazz treasure ranks No. 1 above John Stockton’s 111 and Jeff Hornacek’s 105.

Yes, that’s one obstacle.

But should Utah advance to or near the NBA Finals, it’s well within reason that Ingles could soar above all three of those legends by mid-July. After all, the 6-foot-8 Aussie averaged 2.7 makes beyond the arc across the regular season; obviously, it helped that he came in at No. 5 in the entire league with his 45.1 shooting percentage from deep.

By keeping that pace, all Ingles would need is 19 more games this postseason. With potentially five more on tap against the Memphis Grizzlies and then up to seven more in each of the next three rounds, a possible 26 games remain for the Jazz.

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That, however, brings us to the next roadblock in Ingles’ quest to own the Utah Jazz’s most playoff trifectas. See, his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, is hot on his trail with 74 of his own, ranking No. 5 with already 28 more than the fellas tied at No. 6: Darrell Griffith and Mehmet Okur with 46 apiece.

Now, not only did Mitchell prove in Game 2 to be sufficiently healed from his ankle sprain to score 25 points in 26 minutes while shooting 5-for-10 from downtown — after not playing the previous 40 days — but he’s also averaged a smidge more 3-point makes than Ingles this campaign at 3.4 per game.

Remember, only four makes separate the pair. So it’s conceivable Mitchell could overtake Ingles as soon as Game 3, which tips in Memphis at 7:30 p.m. MT Saturday. Of course, Ingles could then go on to leapfrog Mitchell in Game 4 — so on and so forth.

As for the distant future, well, the 24-year-old Donovan Mitchell is nine years younger than Ingles. Plus, factor in that he has consistently improved his 3-point percentage from one year to the next. With all that in mind, it feels like only a matter of time before the two-time All-Star guard splashes well past Hornacek, Stockton, Russell, and eventually good old “Jinglin’ Joe.”

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Finally, out of respect to Mitchell and Ingles, it’s worth mentioning that they’ve made only 24 and 36 playoff appearances, respectively, while Russell, Stockton, and Hornacek required 96, 182, and 100 games to achieve their respective counts.