GM Dennis Lindsey calls Joe Ingles a Top-10 small forward in the league
Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles is known as Average Joe to most team faithful, after his constant comparisons to run-of-the-mill jobs for a guy with his commonplace looks. Ranging from math teacher to accountant, Ingles has heard it all as a cult hero who co-hosts a weekly radio show in Salt Lake City.
“Anything that’s like a boring, receding-hairline white guy is pretty much what I get,” Ingles candidly told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
But general manager Dennis Lindsey is much wiser than to spend $52 million over four years into a 6-foot-8 forward who just looks like a guy that can relate to the fans. In his eyes, Ingles is much more than an Average Joe.
Lindsey has even gone as far to calling Ingles one of the top 10 small forwards in the NBA, saying so unshakenly.
“If you said that to the casual NBA observer, that would be heresy,” said Lindsey, who re-signed Ingles with the hope he could replace Gordon Hayward at small forward after his departure. “But we know what we have.”
Ingles’ averages of 10.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists aren’t anything to fuss about, but his numbers have recently taken a noticeable jump during the Jazz’s recent 11-game winning streak, putting up 15.9 points on 53.4 percent shooting, including a scorching 54.2 percent clip from deep — which led to a team-best plus-166 in that span.
The Australian wing has developed into a premier 3-point shooter, ranking second in the league behind Golden State’s Klay Thompson at 44.4 percent, only a year after finishing fourth last season — a model of consistency, which Lindsey saw in the making.
Perhaps his greatest numbers are the ones that don’t appear in the stat sheet, an excellent, versatile defender who can guard a multitude of positions effectively while not being afraid to get a little elbow grease, setting confident screens and re-setting plays on offense with ease.
“There are certain players that when they are on the floor make the whole greater than the sum of the parts,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “Joe Ingles ‘the part’ has gotten better, and then Joe Ingles ‘the teammate’ makes other people better.”
“There just hasn’t been anything that he’s not willing to do for the team. That’s where he’s found his game. He’s found his game making the team better when he’s on the floor. The things that he’s been able to do to make the team better have continued to multiply.”