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Addition by Australian


 

Over the course of the season, the rims at Amway had to have been worn out, abandoning Orlando's strokes from deep as each player built houses as the bricks stockpiled. Frequently, the ball found itself hitting each part of the rim instead of smashing the metal ring to recreate the everlasting fans enjoy "swish." There were wide open above the break 3s missed, left and right corner 3's missed and uncontested 3s missed.


Orlando, though, wasn’t built solely on this advantage. The Magic shot the fourth fewest 3s this season (2,551), connecting on a mere 34.6 percent (883 makes). They weren’t about shooting the lights out of the building, but rather about overcoming their inability to make 3s. Luckily for Orlando, their defensive maestro of a Head Coach built a strong defensive unit (sixth-best through 57 games) to withstand bad shooting nights. And most importantly, they roster two grooming stars who served as outlets in case their bricks broke the glass emergency pane. Paolo Banchero, whose knack for getting to the line leads to even more efficient scoring opportunities than his three point arsenal.


The Magic missed 35 three-pointers in their final stint against the Memphis Grizzlies in late March. Gary Harris missed a shot that hit every part of the rim; Paolo Banchero pulled up and threw an uncontested above the break 27 foot 3-pointer that missed everything, eventually snowballing into a 12 straight missed shots from downtown as a team. Orlando's inability to strike fear by casting long range bombs found themselves staring at a 23-point deficit as they saw the game and their season drift away as the clanks grew louder from their misses.


Today’s NBA is full of 3s, and the emergence of shots casted from all spots and distances beyond the arc has started to come at an unimaginable volume. The 3-pointer’s dominance has taken over the league by storm with surprising speed. More than a third of all shot attempts over the past few seasons have been 3s; before this decade, no individual team had taken such a high percentage of its shots from three-point range in a single season. And the new-found pattern may not be abandoned anytime soon, but the Magic are looking to turn that corner following their signing of forward Joe Ingles.


At first glance, Ingles doesn't look like a major contributor. His basic stats of 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists are just that: basic. The box score tells a story of a 35-year-old washed athlete whose best days are in the rearview mirror at this stage. Once again, that couldn't be further from the truth. Ingles knocked down just over 40 percent of his 203 outside attempts with the Bucks this past season coming off an ACL injury. Almost all of Ingles value as an offensive player stems from his ability to shoot the lights out of the ball, not a single spot on the floor where he's not comfortable including extended range and is just as effective off the dribble as he is off the catch.


He's got a smooth transfer of energy despite his quirky 6'9, 227 pound frame. His ability to control his momentum allows him to quickly pull the trigger with a live bounce when coming off catches. While most high volume outside shooters tend to self create a large majority of their own looks a good majority of Ingles opportunities come as a result of his masterful catch and shoot ability. Because he's a threat to shoot at all times he's seen running around screens, handoffs and gaps in the defense to find that small breathing room and once he does it's too little to late.


Take this play for an example, Joe Ingles initiating a pick-and-roll with Bobby Portis as the roll man. The Heat are loading the block down low to take away the roll and potential floater. Ingles' pass finds Wesley Matthews in the corner -- an effective close-out by Kyle Lowry forces a drive and kick from Matthews as Joe Ingles relocates to square up for a triple with the 6'5 Chicago product right in his grill.


The fact that this level of shooter who excels off the catch is a nightmare for opposing defenses and can likely lead to a revitalization of Orlando's half-court offense. The Magic struggled to score when the game slowed down, making the Ingles acquisition this summer even more enticing. Orlando finished near the bottom in catch and shooting this season (22nd) and (21st) in three-pointers made.


Orlando Magic Catch And Shoot Stats: 2022-23

​Catch-And-Shoot Points

​Catch-And-Shoot Field Goals Made

​Catch-And-Shoot Field Goals Attempted

​Catch-And-Shoot Field Goals Percentage

​Catch-And-Shoot 3 Points Made

​Catch-And-Shoot 3 Points Attempted

​Catch-And-Shoot 3 Point Percentage

2165 (22nd)

739 (22nd)

2030 (22nd)

36.4% (T-23rd)

(687) T-21st

1907 (20th)

33.0% (23rd)



The Bucks mandate the corner as a staple of their offense using a 4 Out 1 in offensive scheme. If the ball finds Giannis off a missed shot or turnover it's getting pushed right at a recovering defense. For a seven-footer to move as well as he does with legitimate ball handling skills it's unprecedented forcing defenses.


In order to defend Giannis, you have to employ one of two strategies: (Take away shooters around him or pack the paint and hope shooters miss) When teams opt to shrink the floor by bringing help at the boxes and elbows it allows go ahead transition catch and shoot triples with shooters stationed in the corners, Ingles being amongst beneficiaries.




Joe Ingles Catch-And Shoot 3P% Last 5 Seasons


◾️39% on 136 3PA (2023)

◾️36% on 146 3PA (2022)

◾️49% on 219 3PA (2021)

◾️45% on 181 3PA (2020)

◾️40% on 314 3PA (2019)



The ageless Australian wonder has mastered his ability to take advantage of added defensive pressure with what he does after the catch, which is the main aspect of his offensive attack that separates him from other great off-ball shooters. He loves to utilize fakes to force closing out defenders to fly away from the ball to other offensive players.



When defenders remain in front of him, Ingles will commonly go to jab steps, step-backs or rip throughs to force some added separation for his sloth like movement. He's very effective with his use of these barrage of movements where he showcases that really smooth transfer of energy that makes him a quick-hitter, and is comfortable knocking them down when drifting or fading in either direction.


Joe Ingles's value as an off-ball wing who capitalizes off of the creation of others by finishing routine plays has kept him in the NBA for a long period of time receiving rotational minutes in the regular season as well as the playoffs. However his pull-up shooting ability is most intriguing in boosting Orlando’s lackluster perimeter offense. Orlando ranked second to last behind only the San Antonio Spurs in 2022-23 in pull-up shooting (29.9%) on 7.5 attempts per game connecting on only 1.8 of them on an abysmal 8.7 frequency percentage.



Ingles spends most of his time away from the ball but his smooth pull-up motion allows him to flow into pull-up jumpers where he's a multi-faceted threat stemming from his ability to effectively decipher the two-man game with Brook Lopez. Often receiving ball-screens from his partner in crime well beyond the arc to shade his defender allowing him to pull the trigger from his left hand in a moments notice before the helper can react.



Ingles has (189) made pull up jump shots in his career connecting on 42.5% of them on a 1.22 points per possession basis. Joe Ingles;


◾️Pull-up Jump Shot (174/421)

◾️ Running Pull Up Jumper (15/24)


His effectiveness on pull ups make him a dangerous threat when coming off screens as a spot up shooter. Orlando utilizes a ton of screens to generate 3’s so his malleability will enhance their scheme. Three minutes after the Lopez-Ingles two-man game set up the three on the deep wing Milwaukee goes back to the same concept above the arc. Brook Lopez's 7'1 frame shields Ingles defender completely as he rises up for an uncontested 30 foot pull-up long range bomb.


Playmaking


In these looks there's signs of solid versatility, he can hit from extended range with a hand in his grill but can also provide relief as a master manipulator. Ingles ability to not only shoot but pass in the two-man game will provide an added boost to Orlando as their own version with the tandem of Wendell Carter Jr and Markelle Fultz fades away with health or when both are seated on the bench.


The Australian deceives defenses with ball fakes, eye contact and geometry to find passing lanes that didn’t seem to exist one second earlier. In the possession below, he receives a ball-screen from Brook Lopez near the Magic logo as the Bucks run their traditional Spain pick-and-roll set. While Brook Lopez dives toward the rim, Middleton pops out to the three-point line as the intended receiver. Ingles stuns Franz Wagner with a looking no-look pass with Markelle Fultz draped all over him for an automatic two points down low.


These one-handed airborne fastballs are his go to. His size and length have enabled him to make read over the top of defenses or wrap deliveries around defenders who appear to be playing those lanes. If you look closely you'll notice he's rarely ever looking at his intended target. The way he uses his eyes as a way of manipulating the defense is an added element that will lead to easy points Orlando hasn't been able to capitalize on.


In transition against a Denver zone defense he draws the attention of Bruce Brown and Jeff Green before he pin points a pass showcasing that left hand to the reigning two time MVP in the middle of the floor to create an impossible contest for the helpless interior defenders.



Ingles’ facilitation in the half-court can provide a spark the Magic need when the game slows down. His willingness to move the ball in the pick-and-roll when a shot isn't there adds to his overall bag as a player adding context to why he continually receives quality minutes given his age and speed. Averaging 1.18 points per possession last year in pick-and-roll passes allowing him to sit steadily within the 91st percentile. Here, before Antetokounmpo comes over to set the ball-screen Ingles takes a moment to read the floor staring down Barnes's positioning finding Antetokounmpo on the roll with a lazer beam skip pass that fools Scottie Barnes who assumed the intended target was Wesley Matthews in the corner.


It's not just the overall willingness but the difficulty in the types of plays he's able to capitalize on truly showcasing extreme levels of advanced passing ability. Players at the receiving end of Ingle's pick-and-roll passes last season connected on 51.6% of their shots. Meanwhile, last year in Orlando the pick-and roll passing generated a bleak .983 points per possession resulting in 46.7% of made field goals



In the first round of the playoffs the Bucks place Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry in an Empty Side pick-and-roll action. The Heat are deploying their small ball lineup with Haywood Highsmith at the center position which allows Jrue Holiday to finish around the rim for a free two points off the roll. He's great at creating for shooter out of drives but can also make high level interior passes that end in layups, showboating a real versatile array of deliveries he can make with consistency.




Defense


While it's easy to get lost in the greatness of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, the role players supporting up and coming stars is instrumental to team success. Joe Ingles has spent significant time defending all types of different positions and players throughout the Bucks and Jazz playoff runs. He's matched up with Jimmy Butler and Jaylen Brown who can create at all three levels, bigger forwards like Tobias Harris and Micheal Porter Jr who in their own right play very different styles. He offers legit resistance and switch-ability made possible by his unique profile.



He's got a lengthy 6'10 wingspan so even when he's beat off the dribble he can make plays on the ball in rear pursuit. That length played dividends in bothering Paul George in the 2018 playoffs against OKC. George is used to having easy looks over the top of defenders but Ingles was able to smother his pull-up jumpers. He faces up in isolation and with Ingles in a low stance biting on the step-back he thinks he has enough room to operate, however, the contest is perfectly timed turning a routine 18 footer into a real difficult shot.


This is a good display of Ingles's agility, moving his feet really well laterally to close off driving lanes while altering scoring attempts with that length. He's seen below playing Jaylen Brown with aggressive ball pressure, sliding his feet and shifting momentum to stick with the step back before changing directions to close off the right side forcing Brown to rise up from his non-dominant side.


Here's another one, faced off against Kyle Lowry who uses his pivot to open up the middle of the floor for a drive but Ingles cuts him off and uses his core to absorb added contact forcing an awkward pass, allowing his teammate to be in a position for the interception.


His versatility and ability to take on so many different roles defensively allows him to serve as a small ball five at times. Orlando could find success in the non Wendell Carter Jr minutes this upcoming season now that they have the ability to put out more ultra switchable lineups with Ingles as the key that makes it all work.


Joe Ingles joins a roster that was bleeding for a veteran and a playoff presence. He not only has more playoff minutes than the entire roster combined, Ingles becomes the fifth player on the roster to have tallied any amount of playoff minutes.


Ingles playoff minutes: 1,495
Orlando Roster: 1,230

Joe Ingles bread and butter to capitalize off the creation of others around him is what peaked Orlando's interest this off-season. A perfect fit alongside the likes of Fultz, Banchero and Franz. All of whom are ball dominant players whose value comes from their ability to dice up defenses, pressure the rim, score in the paint and create advantages at an extremely high volume. Pair that skillset with an elite outside sniper who specializes off the ball with pick-and-rolls, pops and quick attacks off the catch and you have one of the most seamless fitting talented young offensive backcourts in all of basketball. His added ball handling skills to initiate the offense adds to his skillset making his two-year $22 million dollar contract (second year: team option) one of the easiest gambles for a team aching for veteran presences in the locker room.


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