An MRI confirmed the worst fears for the Utah Jazz when they discovered that sharpshooter Joe Ingles will miss the rest of this season and part of next year with an ACL injury.
Ingles went down with a knee injury Sunday night in a loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The amount of pain Ingles was in, and the way his knee buckled, suggested a torn ACL. It was a crushing blow for Ingles and the Jazz. They had been missing Donavan Mitchell for the last seven games due to a concussion, and it’s still unknown when he’ll return.
The Jazz are in the middle of a four-game losing streak. They struggled in January, including a 2-9 clip over their last 11 games. Despite their downturn, the Jazz still retain the #4 seed in the Western Conference.
Last season, the Jazz went 52-20 for the best record in the NBA. They seized the #1 seed in the Western Conference in the final week of the season when they surged ahead of the Phoenix Suns. Despite holding the top seed, the Jazz were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals in six games by the #4 LA Clippers.
The Jazz are currently +1400 odds to win the 2022 NBA Championship, according to the Circa Casino and Sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas.
Final hurrah in SLC for the Aussie?
Ingles started 15 games with the Jazz this season, and he was an integral part of their second unit. He averaged 7.2 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 25 minutes per game off the bench. He’s a career 40.8% shooter from 3-point range, but struggled this season with a career-low 34.7% from beyond the arc.
Last season, Ingles averaged a career-high 12.1 ppg in 67 games, including 30 as a starter. He shot 45.1% from downtown and was an important part of Utah’s potent perimeter shooting. He finished in second in Sixth Man of the Year voting and actually lost out to teammate Jordan Clarkson.
Ingles, 34, is in the final year of his current contract with the Jazz. The Australian-born player spent his entire NBA career with the Jazz, spanning eight seasons. He played 590 games and started 313 of them. He was a starter for a couple of seasons before head coach Quin Snyder decided he was most effective coming off the bench. When Snyder needed him to start due to other injuries, Ingles was always ready on a moment’s notice.
At his age, this could be a potentially career-ending injury, but Ingles is a fighter and will do everything in his power to get back to the court after rehabbing his injury. It just might not be with the Jazz next season.
Ingles won a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with his home country of Australia. He’s a four-time Olympian and the easy-going Aussie is one of the most popular players on the Jazz.