The Utah Jazz played their first preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers today, clinching an easy 90-71 victory in balmy Honolulu. Joe Ingles played 20:13 with 6 points (2/5 FG, 2/4 3P), 6 rebounds (1 offensive), a personal foul, 2 turnovers and a +/- rating of +16 (box score).
Ingles came into the game during the first quarter, and defended his first assignment (one Kobe Bean Bryant) well, playing the All-Star up straight without fouling.
It didn't go as well on the shooting end. Jingles' first shot of the night was a flat miss from the three-point line, an attempt to beat the shot clock more than a prepared shot.
The forward left the game in the second quarter, and returned in the final quarter, splashing his first three-pointer of the night, courtesy of rookie big man Tibor Pleiss' handy screen.
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Defending Ryan Kelly proved to be a bit of a challenge - Ingles seemed to have difficulty keeping up with the Laker forward. Kelly was able to drive to the rim a few times, and converted the resulting foul whistles into free throws.
Jingles however, displayed good confidence in his shots during the fourth; he did not hesitate to pull the trigger whenever the opportunity presented itself. Instead of hanging out for the kick out shot, Ingles showed a willingness to come up top and handle the ball more. It is a positive contrast from last season, where he tended to be more passive in terms of taking shots and generally being less assertive.
This night was nowhere near Ingles' best performance last season. This game obviously means little in the grand scheme of things, but it's good to see Ingles back on the court again, doing what he does best: being a team player, sharing the ball and stepping up to take the shot.
NBA, it's been too long.