Film Room: Who is Joe Ingles and what does he do?


Who is Joe Ingles?

For one, he’s the Los Angeles Clippers latest free agent signing according to Marc Stein — on a one-year non-guaranteed deal for the veterans minimum.

An unknown entity to most, the signing has propelled fans to wonder who is Joe Ingles, what he does, and how he possibly fits into what the Clippers are attempting to do this season.

Well, there are the obvious’: he’s a 6’8 small forward hailing from Australia who possess a knack for shooting and passing. To put it simply, he’s the perfect model for what is known as the 3-and-D player. Wherever you look, he’s shot well from behind the arch.

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FIBA World Cup 2014? 66.7 percent from behind the arch.

This past season as a member of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv? 36 percent on 145 attempts.

The 2009 FIBA Oceania Championship? 41 percent on six attempts per game.

As a passer, he’d fit perfectly into the Clippers offense. With so many threats around him, Ingles’ playmaking ability could add a greater depth to an already excellent passing team. A reminder of how good the Clippers were in regards to moving the ball? Only the NBA champion San Antoino Spurs (19.1) and Atlanta Hawks (19.0 — coach by a former Popovic study Mike Budenholzer) posted a higher assist percentage than the Clippers (18.4). Ingles, in any role, increases that. He’s the player Rivers wants in Hedo Turkoglu except Ingles is better, younger, and more adept at playing in the league at this point in their respective careers.

Against Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics, Ingles flashed his passing abilities often. In the below play — granted the player didn’t finish the bucket — Ingles hits his teammate with a well-timed pass to infiltrate the paint and get his teammate in position to score.

In the NBA, this is Blake Griffin, Spencer Hawes, or DeAndre Jordan. Whether it’s a touch pass, bounce pass, pass out of the pick-and-roll, Ingles has shown the ability to make it. Boris Diaw-esque would be the best way to describe his ability there.

Being this kind of player, he falls into the same category as the rest of the small forward on the roster — Matt Barnes, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Reggie Bullock.

But unlike the coup of small forwards on the roster pre-Ingles, Ingles’ skillset leaves the window open for much more than a spot-up-and-shoot guy. In a scouting report done earlier this month, Sam Vecenie of broke down what Ignles’ game resembles.

"The comparison game is often silly and misguided, and that’s the case with Ingles too. For instance, the best way I can think of to describe his play style is a combination of Manu Ginobili and Chandler Parsons together. While those are two vastly different players, making this comparison reek of racial biasing due to the color of the three players’ skins, it also kind of works. The melding of ball-handling, three-point shooting, and length makes for someone that should be able to step in immediately and contribute on the offensive end."

From watching the film, Vecenie’s words paint the proper picture. And despite Ingles’ unique skillset — in comparison to the rest of the Clippers forward — his handle may greatly affect whatever his NBA ceiling may be.

We’ve seen it time and time again how players’ games are limited because of their inability to keep a tight handle and consistently get past their defenders. That’s what stuck out on film when Ingles faced off against Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics.

Take this play for example. Matched up against Kevin Love out of a pick-and-roll, Ingles fails to blow past the power forward, a forward who isn’t known for his ability to defend in space.

The same occurs against Tyson Chandler in a later play.

Granted Chandler is thrice the defender Kevin Love is, Ingles is forced into the pull-up jumper because he’s unable to pass up Chandler to get into the paint.

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  • Only seeing a small sample size of tape, it’s best to not jump to conclusions on exactly how good a handle Ingles possesses, but it’s one of the things that should be looked at most when deciding what he can be. The NBA is littered with athletes that’ll test this upon arrival in the league.

    Defensively, there’s room for improvement. Length makes up for his lack of lateral quickness, a must-have when defending today’s wings, but his deficiencies are those that can be hidden in there right system. Is LA that system? From what we saw last year no. Jordan’s inconsistency creates a greater importance for those in front of him to be a better job defending the perimeter and there isn’t a lock-down defender on the roster that’ll allow Ingles to be consistently hidden.

    Regardless, it’ll be trail-and-error on that end. We won’t truly know what Ingles is capable of until he’s on the court doing it.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how Rivers fits Ingles into the rotation. Looking at the best-case scenario, Ingles finally delivers to Rivers the stretch four he’s been looking for. Does that translate into starter material? Likely not, but with uncertainty behind Matt Barnes, the door is open if Ingles can make the proper impact leading up to the regular season.