Last year’s second overall pick Brandon Ingram had a very up-and-down rookie year for the Los Angeles Lakers. Down the stretch of the season however, that arrow was strictly pointing up Ingram showed vast potential.
In the month of March Ingram averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting an impressive 51.7 percent from the field. Fans and coaches alike were excited about Ingram’s showing, believing that the Lakers may have found their future superstar.
As for what led to his improvement, Ingram pointed to a change in his overall mentality in a recent interview with Robby Kalland of Uproxx.com:
“I think just a different mentality coming in. Trying to help the team win and doing everything I can to be a hard-working player on the floor, getting better each and every day. I knew we weren’t playing for anything, being pretty much out of the playoffs, but I just wanted to prove myself to the coaches or whoever around the organization that I was drafted that high for a reason.”
Of course all wasn’t perfect for Ingram down the stretch as knee issues forced him to sit out or be limited in a number of games down the stretch. Thankfully, Ingram says his knee is feeling great right now:
“My knee is well, first of all. It’s feeling great right now. I got it a little time off, just been resting it a bit. Today was the first day back, so it felt pretty good out on the floor.”
The Lakers definitely seem to be on the upswing and the growth of Ingram is a big reason why. Magic Johnson recently said that the Lakers will probably build around Ingram, and it’s hard to argue with that plan.
There are very few teams who have the amount of young talent that the Lakers have, with the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson, plus whoever the team selects with this year’s pick. The centerpiece of this team’s future however, could very well be Ingram.