We can’t turn down open threes. We want to shoot more of them. —Jazz coach Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — A season ago, Utah Jazz small forward Joe Ingles became one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, connecting on just over 44 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
The Aussie has picked up where he left off in the early going of the 2017-18 campaign as he has made 12 of 19 through the Jazz’s first three games of the season, including 5 of 9 Saturday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder to finish with a team-high 19 points.
“I didn’t make one in preseason, so now I’m catching up,” Ingles quipped. “Same as last year — I’m just feeling comfortable in the system, feeling the confidence from my teammates, my coaching staff. Obviously I’m shooting the ball every day at practice and feel like I’m in a pretty good groove. Just trying to take good looks. It’s working right now.”
Ingles taking good looks is something head coach Quin Snyder has emphasized, as the fourth-year forward has had a tendency in the past to sidestep as a defender closes out instead of raising up for the shot.
With the Jazz not having a whole lot in the way of dynamic scoring on the roster, Snyder said it’s crucial the fourth-year forward is aggressive in shooting.
“We need him to take nine threes. If he only takes four threes, that means he hasn’t been aggressive enough,” Snyder said, referencing Ingles’ total from Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I’d like to see him get his shot blocked. We want him to take contested threes because he’s shooting the ball that well. He’ll make the right decisions.”
While Ingles and Rodney Hood (who did not play Saturday after suffering a leg strain against the Timberwolves) are the primary players Snyder is looking to for outside shooting, the coach said Saturday that he wants to see the rest of his team be aggressive from behind the 3-point line.
As a team, Utah shot 9 of 29 on Saturday and is 27 of 75 on the season thus far.
“We can’t turn down open threes,” Snyder said. “We want to shoot more of them. We want to take as many as we can. If that happens, there’s probably going to be some that aren’t really good, but those are the shots early in the clock that we have to be willing to take.
"If we turn down shots, the rest of the possession, you may as well not even watch it. You just know that it’s going to be ugly. You just can’t turn down open shots, and especially our team.”