Golden State Warriors

The Ingles Rules: How Joe Ingles was taken out of his game against Houston

For all his outstanding traits as both a human being and basketballer, the 2018/19 season has been one of his tougher years, underscored by a playoff series against the Houston Rockets that saw him average just 6.4 ppg, shooting just 27.6% from beyond the arc.

The way the Rockets defended the lefty Ingles by constantly shading him to his right (making a left-handed shot naturally more difficult) has obviously given him a blueprint on what his offseason training schedule may look like.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon noted that the Jazz, before Game 5, were shooting 18.8% on open looks – the worst return in the past five years of playoffs basketball.

For Ingles, the slump might have been a little more understandable if the shots were contested, or if the Rockets schemed to make life difficult for the Australian sharpshooter, when it came to shooting from behind the arc.

As ESPN’s Zach Lowe outlined, Houston learnt its lesson from Milwaukee , and Harden figured out how he could counter the Bucks-style defence, with painful consequences to the Jazz.

Still a young core, led by Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz have built their reputation as a tough-minded defensive team, survived Gordon Hayward’s departure, and continued to make their way to the playoffs.

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