It's no secret that Joe Ingles has been struggling to find his shooting rhythm for quite some time now.
Ingles is not a man to deflect blame or make excuses for sub-par performances. But it appears that there may be a very real reason as to why Jinglin' Joe hasn't been hitting his shots lately.
As Utah Jazz broadcaster, David Locke points out in his podcast Locked on Jazz, Ingles has been struggling since the game against the Charlotte Hornets way back on January 18.
In that game, after battling for a loose ball, Ingles clutches his hand in pain and it is clear that he felt immediate discomfort. He was subbed out after the play, but didn't go to the locker room for treatment, and later returned to the game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgDrnC08gfE Ingles has been wearing tape on his left hand --his shooting hand-- since the January 18 game; Locke confirms a knuckle on the left hand is affected.
As Locke explains in his podcast, the stats back up the fact that this is an ongoing injury that would have to be having an effect on the comfort Ingles feels when shooting. Prior to January 18, Ingles was shooting 38% from beyond the arc. Since then, in 20 games, he is shooting just 28% from deep.
In typical Joe Ingles fashion, he has not brought attention to the injury, nor has he complained about it affecting his shooting. It is hard to imagine that the injury wouldn't be playing on his mind and being a factor in his recent shooting woes. Credit to Slo-Mo Joe for continuing to play through the injury, but his team needs him at 100% going forward.
Considering that it has now been about a month and a half since the injury occurred, one would think Ingles would be over the worst of the pain or at least becoming more comfortable in playing through the pain. For the sake of Utah's playoffs hopes, Ingles needs to be shooting confidently. Unfortunately, they are individually and collectively running out of time.
Shoutout to observant fan Adam Rylewski, who alerted us to the podcast.