On July 4, 2017, the Utah Jazz eagerly waited as their All-Star small forward, Gordon Hayward, made his decision in free agency. With a twist of the dagger into the heart of the adoring fan base, Hayward opted to leave the Utah Jazz and join the Boston Celtics.
It was a devastating blow to a team that was finally making the jump.
Little did we know a legend was in the wings waiting to seize his opportunity and rise to occasion. A man that would attempt to put the entire franchise on his back. Someone who would follow in the footsteps of Karl Malone and John Stockton. That man is the Australian Assassin, Joe Ingles. He is your Warrior Wonder ... errr...
Jazzy Jeff?... Okay, he is your Warrior Wonder.
Is Joe Ingles an MVP candidate?
Joe Ingles was on full display on Tuesday night, facing a flurry of former MVPs, All-Stars, and defensive stalwarts. Currently, he is a having a career year, averaging a scorching 9.8 points a game and shooting 45% from three-point range (coming into last night’s game).
Last night, Ingles poured in 20 points on six-of-eight from three-point range and boasted a plus-minus of +26. This was just one point short of his career high. With a performance like this against the NBA’s best, the Joe Ingles-for-MVP conversation has begun.
Could he propel the Utah Jazz into the playoffs and into the NBA Finals?
Sky is the limit for Joe Ingles. If history serves as a good prediction, Australian-born/raised NBA players have won NBA championships at an alarming rate the last several years:
- Matthew Dellavedova - Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)
- Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)*
- Andrew Bogut - Golden State Warriors (2015)
- Patty Mills - San Antonio Spurs (2014)
*Born in Melbourne, Australia. Irving was raised in New Jersey after the age of two.
Joe Ingles was a phoenix rising from the ashes of Gordon Hayward jerseys.
Going six-for-eight from three-point range, Ingles outperformed the entire Warriors’ team from the land of plenty. The Warriors shot a pathetic 5-for-25 from long distance. It was as if Ingles took all the abilities of the Warriors and became an unstoppable force — hitting bombs from all over the court and even in the face of Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Kevin Durant.
Did the Warriors miss out on Ricky Rubio in the 2009 draft?
It wasn’t just Ingles who was firing on all cylinders. Ricky Rubio was also lighting up the Warriors, finishing with 23 points and 11 assists. Not to mention, he had the Warriors running in circles trying to catch him.
He left Stephen Curry in his dust on this play:
After completely outplaying Curry last night, a big question arises:
Should the Warriors have moved up in the 2009 draft to take Ricky Rubio over Stephen Curry?
With his superior passing ability and new three-point shot, Rubio is flashing brilliance and, at times, Hall of Fame-level talent. Curry, on the other hand, simply just shoots three-point shots and does shimmy shakes instead of running back on defense.
Sure, Curry has won two MVPs and two NBA Championships. He also has been named an All-Star and All-NBA player many times. But is he finally reaching his peak? Is Rubio about to hit his prime as Curry declines?
The arrogance and limited skill-set diminish Curry’s long-term value.
On the other side, Rubio has:
(1) great hair;
(2) excellent court vision; and
(3) a great beard.
Now, ask yourself: Who would you rather build a franchise around — Ricky Rubio or Stephen Curry? The answer is simple: Ricky Rubio.
Last night both Rubio and Ingles were the best players on the court. And now you can vote for your Warrior Wonder below.
If you’re so inclined ... who was the Warrior Wonder in the blowout loss to the Jazz?
This poll is closed
THOSE JAZZ JERSEYS!
JOE INGLES, BABY!
Source: All stats per basketball-reference.com.