Joe Ingles chasing down career-best playoff statistics
Joe Ingles is on track to shatter his previous best statistics in the NBA playoffs after starring in the opening two postseason games for the Utah Jazz.
Ingles continued his sweet shooting stroke on Thursday to help the Jazz level their opening round Western Conference series against Denver at 1-all with a 124-105 blowout win.
The Boomers star finished with 18 points (4/9 from three-point range), six assists and two rebounds.
He also excelled in Tuesday’s opening loss to Denver with 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
This strong start has helped Ingles amass career-best form in the postseason.
In just two games he has already surpassed his previous best points scored average from 11 games in the 2017-18 playoffs (14.5) with 18.5 points.
Ingles is averaging six assists, which surpasses his previous top total of five assists in five games in the 2018-2019 playoffs.
Add in 42.9 per cent from range, and he is also on track to pass his best three-point shooting percentage (45.5) from 11 games in the 2017-2018 playoffs.
In true Ingles fashion, though, he is more worried about creating good looks for his teammates than his own personal stats.
The Adelaide-born swingman is happy to play his role in a Jazz team that play unselfish basketball in a bid to succeed.
Utah point guard Donavan Mitchell starred with 30 points against Denver, but he deflected praise to his teammates post game.
Mitchell reserved special praise for small forward Royce Hunt, who finished with a near triple double.
“I’ve got to give Royce credit, man,” Mitchell said.
“He got into some foul trouble early in the last game, but he came back and tonight and had eight assists and taking the challenge with Denver guard Jamal Murray.
“That is tough, so he kind of set the bar with getting out there and making plays and we all ran off that.
“Joe Ingles coming down and making shots, Rudy (Gobert) getting in the lane – we all did a great job.”
Ingles may be starring in the playoffs, but it is a struggle for Boomers coach Brett Brown at Philadelphia.
Brown under immense pressure to keep his head coaching job following the 76ers‘ struggles in the first round against Boston without Ben Simmons.
Philadelphia trial 2-0 in the series after a 128-101 loss to the Celtics on Thursday.
The defeat throws further uncertainty over Brown’s long-term future at the franchise.
He is contracted until 2022, but his job at Philadelphia has been questioned for most of the season after the hugely talented 76ers finished in sixth position in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the disappointing start to the Boston series, Brown is confident his team can fight to save their season.
“You have to make sure you hold the spirit of the locker room and make sure that the group understands that there is enough character and talent to regroup,” Brown said.
“If the planet was normal, you’d be going back to Philadelphia and they (Boston) did what they should of and won two games at home.
“The message is some level of belief and I think there is enough character and talent in the room to respond.”
Originally published as Ingles chasing records as pressure grows on Brett Brown