Orlando gave Ingles a two-year, $22MM contract this summer to serve as a veteran leader, and he’s embraced that role both on and off the court. The 36-year-old has brought a winning mentality to a team with only one other player older than 26, and he’s become an important part of the rotation, averaging 5.0 points and 3.5 assists in 18.9 minutes per night while shooting 39.2% from three-point range.
“I’ve loved the role that I’ve got here,” Ingles said. “I’ve loved every minute of living here and the organization and the players and the coaches.”
Magic coach Jamahl Mosley understands the importance having a seasoned veteran on the roster, especially one who has been part of successful organizations. Mosley notes that Ingles is eager to speak up and share his perspectives with teammates.
“He’s absolutely great for this group,” Mosley said. “He keeps it real with these guys about the things that we’re doing, the things that they’re seeing, what he’s seen throughout the league. And, all jokes aside, he is all about winning. And whatever that means, if he plays eight minutes or he plays 18 minutes, he’s preached the same message to this group about what we need to do to become successful.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Magic players learned from last year’s slow start and were determined not to repeat it, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. While Paolo Banchero was establishing himself as the top rookie in the league last fall, Orlando stumbled out of the gate, posting a 5-20 record that left the team out of the playoff race by early December. “I remember clearly, in the summertime having dinners with [Mosley] and other players and talking about this exact situation,” Banchero said. “Start off well and try and get as many wins as you can in the first month or two just because you know how important those are later in the year.”
- Terry Rozier is taking on more point guard duties for the Hornets while LaMelo Ball is sidelined with a right ankle strain, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Rozier is averaging a career-high 6.6 assists per game and recorded 13 last Thursday at Brooklyn. “Definitely just getting guys involved early, making sure they feel good,” Rozier said. “Finding guys in their spots, knowing fourth-quarter plays, having a meeting going into the game. So, it just changed in that aspect. But the main thing is winning, so that’s what we are trying to do.”
- Johnny Davis has a strained left calf and his condition will be reevaluated weekly, the Wizards announced (via Twitter).