Brandon Ingram struggled mightily for the Los Angeles Lakers during the preseason, averaging just 10.6 points on 36.5 percent shooting. Ingram was also only shooting 25 percent on threes over five games during the exhibition slate.
The results were not indicative of widespread reports that had Ingram spending countless hours in the gym. His start to the regular season also didn’t support that, but Ingram has seemingly turned a corner in recent games.
“I hadn’t played 5-on-5 or regulation basketball. A lot of the work I put in was individual work,” he explained. “Slowly but surely I’m trying to simulate that in games now, trying to do what works.
“Whether it’s getting to the rim, being confident in the pull-up jumper, getting to the free throw line. Just trying to assert myself on the offensive and defensive end.”
Ingram’s assertiveness led to his scoring a career-high 32 points in the Lakers’ loss to the Golden State Warriors. He followed that with 20 points against the Denver Nuggets, marking the first time in Ingram’s young career he produced back-to-back games with at least 20 points.
“Just trying to find a way where you can be assertive or aggressive at different times. Basically, the best way to get the best shot for my team,” Ingram said. “Whether that’s getting to the rim and kicking it out, or getting to the rim and trying to finish.”
Ingram has been dynamite at finishing around the rim, while drawing a team-high five free-throw attempts per game. He’s also used all of those drives to find ways to set up his teammates, averaging 2.9 assists per game, which ranks third on the Lakers roster.
As Ingram continues to develop, those numbers should even continue to go up, as he’s only in his second year in the league and just barely 20 years old. As he ages and adds more parts to his game — like a consistent jump shot — it will only become easier for Ingram to take advantage of his skyscraping arms around the basket.
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