SALT LAKE CITY — Joe Ingles is known in the NBA primarily for his outside shooting, which has improved considerably this year from 42.6 percent to 49 percent overall and from 38.6 to 47.8 percent from 3-point range, where he leads the NBA.
But now Ingles is becoming known as a defensive stopper, after his last-minute defensive performance against the Lakers this week, when he made a difference on defense in the final two possessions.
First he forced Lou Williams into a poor shot with 32 seconds left and then after a switch on the final play, guarded DeAngelo Russell on his last-second shot that missed badly.
“I’m just trying to be a more aggressive player in that situation,” Ingles said. “I want to try and be aggressive and dictate the play a little bit. You’ve just got to try and make it tough on them.”
When asked about Ingles' prowess as a defender, Snyder laughed and said, “No disrespect to Joe, but no one else could guard (Williams).” But then he praised Ingles for his defensive improvement.
“He’s gotten better defensively,” Snyder said. “It’s one of the things that people are not talking about Joe. He’s shot it very very well, but defensively he’s really improved and is using his length to have a presence on the ball and off the ball. It’s good to see.”
Ingles said he and his coach have spoken about him being more consistent on defense. He also admitted to not always giving his best effort on D.
“I think I’ve shown patches of being a good defender and then I’ve gotten lazy off the ball and you make a stupid play and you look like you can’t guard anybody,” he said. “I’m trying to focus on every play and not to worry about the offensive end. At the end of the day, if I can keep playing defense, I’m going to be able to stay on the floor, and obviously that’s what everyone wants to do."
JAZZ NOTES: Before the game, the Jazz paid tribute to legendary former BYU coach LaVell Edwards, who passed away earlier in the day. After a 30-second tribute to his life on the video board, there was a moment of silence in Edwards’ behalf. … Dante Exum missed his fourth straight game with knee tendonitis. … The Jazz and Sixers have more foreign players than any other team in the NBA with seven apiece. Jazz foreigners include Rudy Gobert and Boris Diaw (France), Joe Ingles and Exum (Australia), Trey Lyles (Canada), Raul Neto (Brazil) and Joel Bolomboy (Ukraine). … The Jazz head out on their longest road trip of the season Sunday and will play five games in nine days, beginning with Brooklyn Monday night.