5 things to know after the Orlando Magic’s FIBA World Cup first round
Joe Ingles struggles from deep
Orlando Magic fans are still getting a feel for Joe Ingles and what he is about.
The Magic’s big free agent signing is a veteran with a good reputation around the league. He is a solid shooter in the NBA and a great playmaker from the top of the key. He is a better driver than he gets credit for and holds his own defensively.
What makes Ingles great is that he knows how to use the physicality he has and knows exactly what he is good at.
He has helped Australia as the veteran on the squad and plays an important role as the organizer at the top of the key. That often helps get Patty Mills off the ball to get better shots or for the athletic wings on this team to get open and cut through the lane.
Ingles is not afraid to drive on players who hang off him too much and create separation to get his shot off or to just fire it from three if defenders give him too much space.
It is easy to see why he will be useful.
But there is the rub. The Magic certainly brought him in not only for his veteran leadership but for his 3-point shooting too. And that has come and gone a bit more than you would like so far in his run with Australia.
So far in the tournament, Ingles is shooting 4 for 12. That is a small sample size and so nothing to panic about. And Ingles has his penchant for stepping up and taking some heat check shots. This is where he is going to find a good chunk of his value.
At the end of the day, Australia is winning and Ingles has been solid in his minutes — even if Australia’s new generation is starting to take over and make a bigger impact reducing some of Ingles’ role.
Ingles will have to step up as Australia has to score a win over both Slovenia and Georgia most likely to advance to the quarterfinals.