3 Things We Learned About Joe from FIBA
Joe was a key cog in Australia's FIBA World Cup team, during which he showed fans all over the world what he's capable of
The FIBA tournament was full of mixed emotions for Jazz fans.
Team Australia was no exception.
After defeating Team France in the seeding rounds prior to the knockout stage and being seeded opposite of France and Team USA in the bracket, all signs pointed to a very real path to the World Cup Final.
Yet the semi-finals proved to undo Team Australia as they ran into soon-to-be champion Team Spain who bested them in 2OT. They subsequently lost to Team France to end the tournament without a medal.
While a big disappointment in hindsight, there are several bright spots. Jazz fans should be particularly proud of Joe Ingles, who ended the tournament as Australia’s second most important player.
Outside of volume scoring (not typically Ingles’ forte), Joe was the primary engine for the Boomers.
Here are three things we learned about Joe during his run with Australia:
Joe Is a Premier Point-Forward
During last season for the Jazz, Joe Ingles set a career high in assists per game. Furthermore, he logged the second best season in Utah Jazz history in assists per 100 possessions from a non-guard with 8.7, trailing only Alan Bristow.
Joe continued that trend into the World Cup by leading the tournament in assists per game from non-guards with 5.6.
It’s easy to understand Joe’s passing ability in the NBA when he’s passing to the likes of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. However, in the FIBA World Cup, Joe is flanked by the likes of Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut.
Hardly an apples to apples comparison.
Yet despite the odds, Joe Ingles pocket passed his way to leading non-guards in assists throughout the tournament. Joe continues to find a way to evolve and improve his game around the edges.
He’s truly become a premier point-forward in the modern day game.
Joe Is Still Struggling with the 3
Ingles is a career 40.8% shooter from beyond the arc, #1 in franchise history of players with 300 or more attempts in their career. He also leads the franchise in career 3PA with 1,638.
Both are impressive marks for an undrafted player who’s NBA debut occured at age 27.
But Joe has been a little less than Joe the past year. After consecutive seasons with >44% shooting from 3, Joe dipped to 39.1% in the 2018-19 season. During the World Cup his accuracy bottomed out to 26.3% on 38 attempts.
It’s still unclear why Joe is hitting the 3 less than normal. His familial struggles last season are widely known and certainly made an impact. Who knows what else may be on-going outside of the public eye.
While concerning that his struggles permeated international play, all signs point to a rebound year this season.
Joe will likely be able to return to some career averages in several categories. His career average Spot Up frequency is 32% (last year 22%). His career wide open 3 frequency is 29% (last year 15%). His career Corner 3 frequency is 21% (last year 17%).
If the Jazz, fit with a more offensively balanced roster, can help Joe find the situations in which he’s historically been most successful as a shooter, Ingles could very well be in for a bounce back season.
Until then, Jazz fans, Jazz brass, and Joe himself will be scratching their heads on his cold shooting from deep.
Joe Is Still Very Important to Utah
The Utah Jazz revamped their roster with the additions of Mike Conley at the point and Bojan Bogdanovic at the forward positions. Understandably, Joe Ingles was then considered Utah’s 5th best player. “Quite a luxury,” we reasoned.
Ingles has long showed us his value in various areas on the floor but his performance in the World Cup put it on full display. His combination of box score stats, efficiency (even despite his poor shooting from distance), and impact on the floor sets him apart as a truly unique player.
Last season, Joe eclipsed 18 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds per 100 possessions. Those numbers make him the only player in Jazz history to carry them for a full season with more than 1,000 minutes played.
Utah has the defense from Rudy, the volume scoring from Donovan, the game
management from Conley, and the shooting
volume from Bojan. What do we need out of Joe?
A little bit of everything. And fortunately for the Jazz, that’s right up his alley.
Joe will be returning to Utah in the coming weeks as the team gears up for training camp. Though devoid of hardware to back his trash talk, Ingles will surely be running his mouth to fellow FIBA competitors Rudy and Donovan about how dominae he’ll be this year.