It’s not easy being a rookie in the NBA. Playing at this level is a massive step up from any other league in the world, and it can take some time for young players to get adjusted. For Brandon Ingram, not only is he attempting to successfully transition from college to the pros, but he’s doing so with the pressure of playing for the Lakers added into the mix.
When the Lakers selected Ingram with the second overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft it was widely thought they were getting a shooter. After all, Ingram hit 41 percent from three during his lone season at Duke. However, he struggled early on, hitting just 34 percent of his shots through his first few months. His teammates and coaches encouraged him to continue shooting, and in January his numbers have picked up, though he is still prone to losing confidence and being too passive, as he told Mark Medina of the Orange County Register:
Ingram is still passive sometimes. After airballing a shot in Tuesday’s loss to Denver, Ingram passed up a few open looks shortly afterward.
“I did mess up on not taking those open shots. But shooters keep shooting,” Ingram said. “I definitely need to keep shooting and trusting myself. My teammates and coaches are definitely telling me to stay with it.”
The good news is that Ingram recognizes the need for him to remain aggressive even if his shot isn’t dropping. He has the ability to stretch the floor as a shooter, it’s just a matter of him getting comfortable in the flow of the game.
We have seen Ingram make major strides in this area already, as he is converting a fantastic 47 percent from the field in the month of January and 42 percent from three. It may be asking a bit much to keep up those numbers for the remainder of the season, but it’s still a good indicator that he isn’t nearly as bad of a shooter as he showed early on.