As the Utah Jazz move into a New Year, they will be comforted by the fact that Joe Ingles is back to his best.
December was a fruitful month for Ingles, after the veteran forward struggled through the first two months of the season. The combination of a busy offseason of international duties and a new reserve roll with the Jazz appeared to contribute to the shaky start.
After starting in just one of the first 20 games for Utah, Ingles started in 12 of 14 December appearances as point guard Mike Conley Jr. continues to struggle with hamstring issues.
It's all so ~pure~ pic.twitter.com/grbt5xZtXA- Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 31, 2019
The return to his longtime role with the opening group has paid off, as the Australian averaged 14.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the final month of 2019.
The hot streak has been boosted by his sizzling hot 53 percent mark from beyond the arc in the stretch, while his minutes per game have increased from 27.1 in November to 33.1 in December.
Ingles finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in the Jazz' latest win over the Detroit Pistons, and Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is certainly a fan of his game .
Fresh cup of Joe pic.twitter.com/BnUYk2vrfI- Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 31, 2019
"I don't enjoy coaching against him, but I enjoy watching him play. He's tough, he's gritty, a little nasty. Left-handed, crafty with the basketball, can shoot it. Pick and roll, he guards," Casey said. "I don't know him. Never met him. But I just enjoy watching him play."
The 32-year-old has been said to look like a math teacher in the past, though Casey had a different description when explaining how he believes Ingles continues to sneak under the radar in the league.
"He looks like he's slow, can't move. A bartender-type look," Casey said.
"But he gets it done. I'm serious, he does. He looks like a guy that just comes off the rec league, but he's a legit star in our league."
Ingles is playing like a legit star, and the Jazz will be hoping their on-court bartender can continue to serve up his high level of play.