Joe Ingles, Kyle Korver playing heavy minutes despite being over 30; Quin Snyder on fouling late with 3-point lead
Utah Jazz's Joe Ingles, left, of Australia drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minneapolis • Joe Ingles' last game off was on December 16, 2015. And it wasn’t for a typical injury: Ingles missed the game due to a previously-scheduled oral surgery.
But with that ironman durability comes a lot of minutes: nobody has played more time for the Jazz than Ingles in the last two seasons. And at 31, those minutes can be hard on the body.
“It’s a big point of emphasis for our guys, Mike Elliott and the staff, on how they recover,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Joe spends a lot of time on the table, it’s showing with his endurance and durability in playing every game.”
Once Ingles is in the game, Snyder doesn’t think about Ingles' age as limiting his minutes, as he said, “You’re no more conscious about it in the moment than any other player.”
The same is true for the 37-year-old Kyle Korver, who has been playing larger minutes while the Jazz have faced injuries over the last three weeks. He’s played 22 minutes per contest in the month of January.
“Kyle thinks he can play 42 minutes, and he prepares that way. At a certain point in his career, he became — I don’t want to say obsessed, but unbelievably dedicated to taking care of his body,” Snyder said. “That’s why he’s playing at the level he is at the age he is.”
Fouling up three late in the game
It’s a difficult decision for a coach: with a 3-point lead late and the clock ticking towards zero, do you foul to send your opponent to the line for two free throws?
On one hand, your opponent gets the opportunity to score with the clock stopped, but up three, two points can’t beat you. And with the NBA changing the end-game rules to only allow two timeouts in the final two minutes, it’s likely a team won’t be able to advance the ball up the court without needing to dribble.
“It’s clock-dependent for us,” Snyder said. “If a player is bringing the ball up and coming at you, you have to be more careful. If a player catches the ball with his back to the basket, there’s more opportunity there where you’re not going to give up three free throws.”