FORGET Golden State sharpshooters Steph Curry or Klay Thompson, the hottest shooter in the NBA right now is Aussie veteran Joe Ingles.
But just don’t count on the Utah Jazz swingman showcasing his sweet stroke in the three-point contest during February’s NBA All-Star weekend.
“They can put someone else in,” Ingles told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“I’ll happily watch from the sidelines.”
Ingles’ name has been thrown up as a possibility to become the first Australian to compete in the three-point contest — the annual long-range shootout once dominated by Boston great Larry Bird and more recently won by Curry and Thompson — thanks to his brilliant strike rate from distance.
He leads all NBA players in shooting the ball at 47.7 per cent from behind the three-point line this season, edging out New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (46.7).
Fellow Aussie Patty Mills, another three-point contest contender, is eighth in the NBA at 44.4 per cent, while reigning MVP Curry is way down in 37th place — hitting just 39.9 per cent of his long balls.
While Ingles’ 41 total threes are just over a third of Curry’s NBA-best total of 120 over the opening two months of the season, it speaks volumes of the Boomers star’s ability to stay within the structure of the Jazz offence.
But Jazz coach Quin Snyder noted Ingles had become a more important member of his rotation, having averaged just shy of 10 points per game so far this month.
“He’s shooting the ball more quickly, but more on time. There isn’t a hesitation. I think that’s improved his confidence. He knows he’s shooting it. Don’t think about it.”