Five Things: Don’t Make Joe Ingles Angry

“Don’t Make Joe Angry” — Ingles Dominates In Win

On a night when Jordan Clarkson threw down a massive dunk, and Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert dominated, it was Joe Ingles who stole the show. Known for his passion and energy, both were on full display Thursday night when Utah took down Minnesota 128-116 in another offensive showcase.

“I thought we did a pretty good job against the team that shoots a lot of threes, those guys in particular,” head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. “I do think they really competed, played at a high level, and shot the ball well, which they’re capable of doing. … So a really good win for us.”

goodnight, jazz twitter

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 24, 2021

Here are five things to know following the win:

1.) It’s Never Good To Make Joe Ingles Angry
It’s something Joe Ingles doesn’t want to admit, but his teammates are more than willing to say and agree with it — Ingles is the best trash talker in the NBA. Even opponents have said those words, believing that Ingles’ fiery passion and propensity for one-liners makes him elite in that department. 

That was on full display at Vivint Arena on Thursday night.

In a verbal dust-up with Minnesota’s Jake Layman, Ingles’ passionate actions were able to fire up his teammates and help the Jazz take down the pesky Timberwolves. 

It was also one of Ingles’ best performances of the season. He finished with 16 points, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. With the Timberwolves playing the pick-and-roll the way they do, Ingles was able to be in attack mode much more often, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 3-for-8 from beyond the arc.

The longest-tenured Jazz player, Ingles’ experience initiating the offense and communication on defense has helped the team to one of their most efficient starts during the past eight years he’s been around.

The runner-up to the sixth man of the year last season, Ingles will play a significant role the rest of the season and appears to be finding his groove heading into the dog days of the season at just the right time.

2.) Jordan Clarkson Flashes Back To L.A.
Mitchell said it best. 

Clarkson, one of the premier shooters in the league, can surprise opposing players and his teammates with his athleticism. He is usually known for his wild shooting streaks, Clarkson still has the legs and hops to remind others of his complete skill set.

Late in the second quarter, Clarkson drove into the lane and dunked hard over Minnesota’s Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels, two players who both stand 6-foot-9.

“Wow. I told him I thought his shot was going to get blocked. … I thought he was going to put it up there, and then they were going to meet him at the top block it,” Donovan Mitchell said postgame. “Every once in a while, J.C. reminds you of his younger days back in L.A. when he was dunking on everybody. … Against two guys that can get up to, that was definitely impressive.”

In a game where Clarkson — who averages 14.8 points per game — struggled from the field, he still found ways to affect the game. He finished with just five points but added seven assists, three rebounds, and one insane dunk that not only got the crowd loud but his teammates hyped and changed the energy of the game.

“He was incredibly efficient. It just shows you that he’s talented,” Snyder said of Clarkson. “In games like tonight, when they’re aggressive in the pick-and-roll the way they were, for him to get off the ball, it says a lot.” 

With Ingles finding his offensive acumen and Clarkson reminding everyone of his athleticism, the Jazz appear to have the league’s deepest team again.

Sixx has no fear #TakeNote | @jordanclarksons

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 24, 2021

3.) Mike Conley Takes Control On Offense
Mitchell was sensational for Utah, putting up a team-high 28 points. At the same time, Rudy Gobert had a statement-making double-double after what happened the last time between the Jazz and Timberwolves. 

But it was Conley who was the most effective and impressive player on the court. He finished with a game-high +22 rating with 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds in 28 minutes of action.

He continues to show his ability to thrive when the Jazz need him most, taking control of the offense and constantly putting the team in the proper places of offense. Much like Ingles could thrive in the pick-and-roll, Conley proved that he and Gobert might be the most dangerous pick-and-roll combination in the league.

With the Jazz taking a more cautioned approach with Conley this season to keep him healthy in April, May, and June, the 16-year veteran understands that he doesn’t need to score 20+ points or take 15+ shots a night to be effective.

His efficiency is up significantly on offense this season, shooting a career-high 44.2% from beyond the arc, including a 2-for-3 showing on Thursday night.

If Conley can remain healthy and continue to shine when Utah needs him most, the Jazz become that much more dangerous as the season goes on.

4.) Rudy Gobert Can Not Be Stopped
This season, Gobert is playing at an all-time level in what’s becoming more evident as each game passes.

Not only is he in the chase for a record-tying fourth defensive player of the year award, but his offensive evolution has also been a massive boost in giving the Jazz the highest-rated offense in the league by a significant margin. 

Completely ignoring what took place the last time these two teams met, Gobert played like somebody who had nothing to prove. He finished with another double-double, totaling 20 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks, and two assists.

With Karl-Anthony Towns and Jarred Vanderbilt both sidelined due to health and safety protocols, Minnesota had no answer for Gobert down in the post. 

That’s what made the win and Gobert’s performance that much more impressive. In a game the Jazz had the option to not take seriously with so many Timberwolves out, the team played aggressively and grinded out the win.

“We’ve lost some of these games before, so we know how much it doesn’t really matter in the NBA who you play against and how many guys are injured. … We know that we really have to worry about ourselves,” Gobert said. “We played with fire a little bit. … But for the most part, I thought we played the right way.”

Things you love to see #TakeNote

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 24, 2021

5.) Christmas Day Special
December 25 is shaping up to be a massive day in the households of Jazz fans.

While everyone sits around the Christmas tree opening up presents, going through stockings, and sipping on egg nog, make sure to set your alarms for early morning. Utah needs your help as the NBA All-Star Voting will tip off at 9 a.m. MST.

Then later that night, after digesting your excellent food, put on those new clothes and head out to Vivint Arena to watch the Jazz take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in a Christmas night special. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. MST.

Come spend Christmas & Valentine’s Day with the Jazz.

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 23, 2021

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