UTAH JAZZ

Ingles Happy To Have Favors Back In A Jazz Uniform

Dec 3, 2020, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm
Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)...
Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Shortly after the Utah Jazz agreed to bring Derrick Favors back to the city that he called home for eight and a half seasons, the big man got a text message from a familiar number.

“Pocket pass,” it read. “We back.”

The text came from Joe Ingles, Favors partner in crime, and the man responsible for initiating the pick and roll with the Jazz newest big man in the second unit.

In a season when the Jazz second unit struggles to maintain leads when the starters went to the bench, it became obvious Favors absence was a glaring issue.

During their time together in Utah, Ingles and Favors had developed such strong chemistry together that coach Quin Snyder began linking the two players’ substitution patterns.

“We would both come out first,” Ingles said of the Jazz rotation. “And then we’d go back in at the end of the first [quarter] and start of the second. Obviously, you have a lot of time out there together.”

Ingles and Favors played a total of 1401 minutes together during the 2018-19 season. The two produced the team’s fourth-best net rating (+8.5) of any duo that shared the floor that often.

But considering the credit they get for their pick and role expertise, it may come as a surprise how well the Jazz performed defensively when Ingles and Favors were on the court together.

Two seasons ago, the Jazz had a defensive rating of 98.9 with both players on the floor, the best of any two-man group that played at least 1,000 minutes. Meanwhile, the team’s offensive rating with Ingles and Favors on the floor together was 107.4, the third-worst of any two-man grouping that played significant minutes.

For Ingles, the pair’s defensive efficiency came as no shock.

“I think his defense doesn’t really get talked about or highlighted enough,” Ingles said. “Even when we started [Gobert] and Favs’ we were pretty tough to score on.”

Starting vs. Coming Off The Bench

With Bojan Bogdanovic firmly entrenched in the starting lineup, Favors is unlikely to begin the season as a starter. Both the team’s front office and Favors himself have confirmed that the former Jazzman wasn’t guaranteed a starting role when he returned.

Similarly, Ingles was less than a full-time starter last season in Favors absence. The Australian guard started 45 of the team’s 72 regular-season games including all seven playoff games but had been moved to the bench before Bogdanovic’s season-ending wrist injury.

With the depth on the Jazz roster, Ingles said he’s not concerned about his role in Quin Snyder’s offense.

“If if he wants me to start, I’ll start,” Ingles said. “If he wants me to come off the bench, I’ll do that. It doesn’t bother me at all. I can promise you I will not be losing any bit of sleep over that.”

Despite his confidence, there was a noticeable drop in production from Ingles depending on whether he started or came off the bench.

As a starter, Ingles averaged 11 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds while shooting an eye-popping 43 percent from the three-point line.

As a reserve, Ingles numbers dipped to 7.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds while shooting just 34 percent from three.

Now, with Favors back in the mix, Ingles hopes to see his numbers stabilize regardless of his role.

“He’s obviously a guy that I feel super comfortable playing with,” Ingles said. “What we did last year was it was a little different. I was probably trying to find my feet a little bit with that second unit, but we’re really glad that he’s back, not only for myself but for the team.”

Ingles and Favors will have their first chance to rekindle their

 

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Ingles Happy To Have Favors Back In A Jazz Uniform