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Joe Ingles Keeps Iron Man Streak Alive For Jazz Fans

Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) celebrates after a 3-point shot as the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers play a preseason game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Joe Ingles is one of the players least driven by personal statistics in the NBA. The Utah Jazz guard posts modest numbers, largely due to his unselfish nature. However, Ingles is atop the NBA leaderboard in one category — consecutive games played. Despite his streak, which sits at 402 consecutive games including the playoffs, Ingles insists the iron man streak has more to do with his love for the game, and less about any statistical achievement.

“I get paid to play basketball. It’s my job it’s what I love to do,” Ingles said. “When I was playing as a kid for lollipops, that’s the first thing that ever got me on a court.”

The Jazz have been choosing to rest starters and rotation players ahead of the NBA playoffs in Orlando. Despite Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, and Rudy Gobert sitting out games within the NBA bubble, Ingles remains a constant in the lineup.

As the Jazz prepare to face the San Antonio Spurs Thursday afternoon with most starters expected to get extended rest, the Australian guard insisted his streak has more to do with luck than perseverance.

“If [Jazz trainer] Mike Elliot told me, ‘If you go out there today you’re gonna get a rip your hamstring off the bone,’ I’m not going to play. I’m not silly,” Ingles said. “On the flip side, I’ve been lucky that I’ve never been in a situation like that.”

Ingles Respecting the Fans with Iron Man Streak

In addition to Ingles streak of good health, the NBA’s iron man said he understands what playing may mean to one fan who may have the chance to watch him play.

“Maybe they’ve saved up for months and months to come to Vivint [Arena] one time,” Ingles said. “And I might be that kid’s favorite player, and I want to be out there to make that one kid’s dream come true.”

Jazz coach Quin Snyder has used the first seven seeding games as an opportunity to find playing time young some of the roster’s young players. With forward Bojan Bogdanovic missing the remainder of the season, Snyder needs to find an extra rotation piece before the team begins the playoffs.Β  Ingles said of Snyder needed to substitute his minutes for the betterment of the team, he’d be willing to break the streak.

“If Quin told me you know you’re not playing tomorrow, and he was dead set about thinking it was the best for me and for the team, then, see you later I’m out,” Ingles said. “But we’ve never had to have that conversation because he knows how much I love to play.”

Ingles Play in the Bubble

Ingles has maintained his consistency on the offensive end within the NBA bubble. Having appeared in all seven games, the guard is averaging 11.4 points, 5.6 assists, and three rebounds.

Perhaps most impressively, and where the Jazz may need to him to be a more selfish player, Ingles is shooting 49 percent from the floor and leads the team in three-point shooting at 42 percent. Despite leading the Jazz in three-point percentage minutes played inside the bubble, Ingles has taken the fourth-most threes on the roster.

The Jaz and Spurs tip-off Thursday at 4:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT and locally on AT&T SportsNet.

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