Lakers News: Brandon Ingram Views Kobe Bryant Jersey Retirement Ceremony, Marquee Games As Key Tests
Brandon Ingram, Klay Thompson
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers went 8-13 through the first five weeks of the regular season, complete with growing pains and stretches of subpar and sloppy play that are to be expected from a young team. Somewhat surprisingly, they boasted a top-10 defense during that time — and still do.

The Lakers figured to be tested once the calendar flipped to December. It called for games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, among others. Heading into it, Lakers head coach Luke Walton called on his team to remain unified through the month.

This week is a particularly daunting stretch for the Lakers. Monday not only is a matchup with the Warriors, but there’s an added distraction as Kobe Bryant will have his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired at halftime.

Wednesday calls for a road game against the Rockets, then the Lakers again face the Warriors but away from Staples Center.

“It’s a test for our young guys,” Brandon Ingram said. “I think a lot of our guys are really wide when we play these really, really good teams. We’ve performed well going against these top contenders in this league. We just have to bring it.”

If there’s any reason for the Lakers to not be overwhelmed by their schedule, it’s that they’ve remained competitive against some of the league’s top teams. The Warriors were pushed to overtime in a game late last month, the Rockets saw their lead dwindle in a Dec. 3 game, and the Cavaliers nearly blew a lead.

Ingram has been key to the Lakers playing well this season, as he’s second on the team with an average of 16.2 points per game. Kyle Kuzma is first at 16.3 points.

Moreover, Ingram is also averaging 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, both of which are also career highs. Monday presents Ingram with another opportunity to match up with Kevin Durant. The second-year forward scored 32 points their last time out, leaving the reigning Finals MVP thoroughly impressed.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk Excited About What He Learned In Summer League

Of late the Los Angeles Lakers have managed to find gems late in the first round or in the second round of the NBA…

Steve Nash’s Potent Offense A Key To This Lakers Team

On January 25, something strange happened in a game against the Utah…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Not Concerned With Second-Half Schedule

The NBA released the second-half schedule for all 32 teams this past week, and the Los Angeles Lakers have a…

Undefeated Poll Featuring 50 Greatest Black Athletes Includes Four Former Lakers Not Named Kobe Bryant

Undefeated recently did a poll of the 50 greatest black athletes, and four former Los Angeles Lakers players made the list, but Kobe Bryant did not…