10 games into his second year in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has seemingly improved with every week of his career. After setting the bar low during the first few months of his career, Ingram showed off the player he can be as he continues to develop.
Head coach Luke Walton has also relied on Ingram as a leader of this team, as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has heavy expectations on his shoulders. However, he has stepped up to the plate, being a vocal leader and believing in his teammates.
Ingram has been a focal point for the Lakers over the last five games, averaging 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.2 while shooting 50 percent from the field. During an interview with David Aldridge of NBA.com, Ingram gave insight into his early-career struggles and how he’s moving past them:
“I think (it was) a little bit being into myself last year, not realizing how good I was until the last two months of that season,” Ingram said. “Now I’m just trying to get back and relax, relax a little bit and trying to use my skill level and my ability. When I play my hardest, I feel like I’m one of the best on the floor.”
Ingram has seemed more composed on the court just 10 games into the season, showing off stretches that have left the Lakers fans in awe. Headlining that play was the clutch tip-in that tied the game against the Washington Wizards, which led to an overtime victory.
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Part of that success has been his relationship with Walton, as his head coach has full trust in him as the team’s closer.
Ingram is averaging 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 45.7 percent from the field in 32.8 minutes per game. With a 5-5 record and more to prove, Ingram has to continue to elevate the play of his team moving forward, to progress towards one of the pillars that can carry a franchise to success.