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Aussies in NBA: It's Jingles time
The loss of Gordon Hayward meant that the Utah Jazz had to change. The Butler Bulldog had a career season in 2016/17 before leaving to join the Celtics in Boston.
That left the door ajar for Joe Ingles, who was under no guarantee that he would get an increased role in Hayward's absence. The Jazz drafted Donovan Mitchell and also recruited Jonas Jerebko, two players who could have easily laid claim to the minutes being left behind.
However, head coach Quin Snyder put his faith in the Australian and so far, he has delivered in spades.
Ingles' performances will continue to be important, while Rudy Gobert nurses a knee injury that is set to see the big man miss up to four weeks.
Through the Utah Jazz's first 15 games of the season, Ingles is averaging 10.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. If he finishes the season with these numbers, it will be a career high in each category.
His minutes have increased from 24 per game to almost 30, and his shooting percentage hasn't dropped off. Ingles still shoots above 40% from both the field and three-point line.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eQrDca_x8g The South Australian's steal numbers have also risen, while his turnover rate has only increased slightly, which is impressive considering the increased role.
We saw Ingles' potential in being a focal point of the offence in parts last season, however, it has taken Hayward leaving for us to see just what the Aussie is capable of.
There is plenty of the season left but despite some scoring troubles against Minnesota, he has shown no signs of slowing down. He scored his second-best point total of the season (17pts) against the Nets earlier in the week and has managed to record five assists in three of his past four games.
One of the newer efficiency ratings in the NBA is the Player Impact Estimate (PIE). This calculates players statistical impact on a game, and how much they contributed in regards to the number, with the season rating being the average.
This season, Ingles' PIE rating has jumped into double figures (10.9) for the first time in his career. His previous best was last season and was 8.9.
It comes as no surprise that Ben Simmons has drawn the attention of most of the Aussie NBA fans, with Aron Baynes and his great run with his new side Boston also catching the eye. However, just like always, don't be sleeping on Joe Ingles.
Don't miss Joe's appearance on ESPN's The Lowe Post podcast.