Lakers News: Brandon Ingram Says He Can See Himself Playing Point Guard This Season
Lakers Practice Notes & Videos: Lonzo, Ingram Updates, Walton Team Meeting

Point guard is arguably the most challenging position for players to adjust to at the NBA level, something Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is rapidly finding out.

That mostly-agreed-upon reality made it all the more surprising when Lakers head coach Luke Walton decided to have Brandon Ingram run backup point guard as a 19-year-old rookie last season, despite the minor detail of having never played the position before.

Ingram mostly struggled in the role, but Walton’s decision was always about his long-term development as a ballhandler more so than any success Ingram had last season, and it seems like those lessons might be about to pay off.

With Ball missing from practice and unsure if he’ll be able to play when the Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings Sunday, Walton had Ingram run point again, and it sounds like Ingram relished the opportunity, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

The results were mixed on Ingram playing point guard last season. On one hand, the Lakers’ bench lineup of Ingram, Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and Larry Nance, Jr. that ran down the throats of the rest of the league last season did feature Ingram as the nominal “point guard” while outscoring teams by 7.8 points per 100 possessions, by far the best rate of any of the Lakers’ high-usage lineups according to NBA.com.

Still, Ingram didn’t exactly play as a traditional point guard in those minutes, mainly bringing the ball down before initiating the offense by giving the ball to Clarkson or Williams to attack.

Ingram did get valuable experience running an offense and (kind of) leading a team during those minutes, however, and his rare blend of size and ballhandling skills offer promise he could eventually play more of a point forward-type role for the Lakers as he develops.

How much Ingram’s offseason helped him get better in that role and how often he’ll even need to play it remains to be seen, especially if Ball stays healthy. Right now he’s not, and the Lakers might need Ingram to initiate some offense for the team, which even if it doesn’t become a consistent facet of their offense could help him make valuable progress as a scorer and creator moving forward in his career.

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