Memphis Grizzlies v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 7: Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 7, 2019 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert finding their pick-and-roll rhythm

by Aaron Falk

Joe Ingles curled around a screen, casually flipped the ball through traffic with his left hand, and watched his teammate finish it off with a hammer dunk.

The play was simple enough.

The postgame analysis even more so.

REPORTER: “What were you seeing out there on the pick-and-roll?”

INGLES: “A 7-foot, French, whatever he is.”

Ingles and Rudy Gobert have built rapport on the court during their six years together with the Utah Jazz. That connection has been on display as of late—and it helped the Jazz snap a three-game losing streak with a 126-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

“I’m just trying to read it and make plays,” said Ingles, who had 12 points and 10 assists in the win. “Obviously [Gobert is] a really good screener, and playing with him for six years, I think we know how to play with each other.”

When point guard Mike Conley left the game last week in Philadelphia with hamstring tightness, the Jazz relied heavily on Ingles as a primary ballhandler. Over the past three games, Ingles has flourished in that role and has rekindled a pick-and-roll connection with Gobert.

 “If I’m out there with Ed [Davis] or Tony [Bradley], whoever it is, I’m going to try to be aggressive and make plays,” Ingles said. “But we all know how good of a screener Rudy is.”

A season ago, Ingles and big man Derrick Favors formed one of the Jazz’s most reliable pick-and-roll combos. Of late, Snyder has liked what he’s seen from Ingles and Gobert.

“He uses the screen and he’s making good reads after the screen,” Snyder said. “Rudy’s making good contact when he needs to and that’s creating options for Joe.”

Ingles has had 8, 5 and 10 assists in his last three games. On Saturday night, Ingles found the 7-footer Frenchman for four of his dimes.

“It’s fun,” Gobert said. “You know he’s a very smart player and he’s a very unselfish player. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to shoot and you have to tell him to shoot. But it’s fun because he can see the defense and he punishes them for their mistakes. When you have a player like that, you take advantage of it.”

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