Before anything else, let’s get one thing straight. I am not trying to jinx Brandon Ingram with this article. I just thought it would be nice to highlight how well he’s been playing the past few games.
I have been closely monitoring Ingram’s season, always anticipating and patiently waiting for that moment or game where he’ll just go off and prove everyone why he was taken second overall in the draft.
In this case, it isn’t just a particular play/moment or a single game — rather a string of decent performances.
During the stretch of January 5 to 11, the Lakers racked up two wins (against the Heat and Magic) and suffered two losses against Damian Lillard and the Blazers.
Here’s a brief table (c/o ESPN) on how Ingram fared in those four outings:
Just for that stretch alone, Ingram averaged 14 points (55% on 3s), 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
The reason why he’s been shooting around 58% from the field is because he’s been more aggressive attacking the basket— even through contact — and getting easy opportunities.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Ingram is “getting more comfortable in the paint.”
“He’s had in each of the last couple games, some really nice finishes, coming off of one leg and using his length around the rim to get angles,” Walton explained.
“Like anything else that’s just figuring it out as a young player, trying to see where he can look to take advantage of things.”
Even Ingram himself admitted he is “just seeing the game better.”
“I’m starting to feel comfortable in finding the opening in the offense and trying to make plays for myself,” Ingram said.
“I’m just being more aggressive and having the ball in my hand and trying to make plays for myself. I see more openings for myself. Of course, I also see more passes from my teammates.”
What I like the most about Ingram is even if his offense isn’t clicking that game he’ll always find other ways to make a positive impact on the team — whether it’s directing plays, snatching rebounds out of defenders’ hands, or making the Lakers’ defense more effective with his length and weakside help.
There’s not much criticism hurled towards Ingram (aside from maybe his outside shooting) because in general the Lakers have been fun to watch this season.
Again, this isn’t meant to jinx him. The purpose of this is to highlight how well he’s played the last few games.
But when he does get the hang of things, expect La La Land to become a bit more interesting.
Photo from Lakers/Twitter