Rudy Gay gorgeous in his jazz debut, bringing an extra dimension and roster possibilities to the team – The Athletic

If you know Joe Ingles, you know the sign that he loves you as a person is how sarcastic he is around you. Thursday night, after a Utah Jazz 119-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Ingles was asked about Rudy Gay.

The 6-foot-9 forward and free agent award for the Jazz had yet to play in a game until Thursday night. When he did, he provided the sold-out crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena with some reason to be optimistic. And then, Ingles was asked about him after the game.

“He’s a hell of a player, for 26 years,” Ingles joked.

“I think he stole my shooting powers. It annoys me a bit. “

Good-humored ribs aside, Gay was gorgeous in his early days in jazz. He scored 20 points on 7-8 shots from the field. He made five of his six 3-point attempts. He took five rebounds. He distributed a few assists. He packed that production in 18 minutes off the bench. And then he ran a mile on the treadmill after the win to work on his fitness and stamina a bit. The pictures taken were obviously the headliner. But, Gay was a bit more defensive in his minutes. The ball moved offensively and his skills stood out because the things he does well are some of the things that no one else does well on the list.

For Gay, just finishing the first game meant a lot. Get down to the ground. Work up a sweat. Playing NBA minutes at altitude for the first time this season has proven to be a bit difficult. There were times when Gay was visibly short of breath.

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