Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram is heading into his second season as a pro, and it is believed by many that he will make big strides.
At Lakers Media Day on Monday president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said he expects Ingram to average 20 points per game this season. Additionally, expectations will also be big for Ingram on the defensive side of the ball as head coach Luke Walton says he believes Ingram will be a great defender.
One thing that has been noticeably different about Ingram this season is his attitude and mentality, as he realizes his potential and is developing into one of the team’s leaders.
Ahead of Saturday’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ingram said that he plans to be aggressive, especially on the defensive side of the ball, via Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell:
Ingram focus is to “be aggressive” tomorrow, keep the mentality that helped him grow post All-Star break. Said that starts on defense.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 29, 2017
According to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Ingram also realizes that with his length and sizes he presents matchup problems for many defenders around the league:
"I'm confident, I feel like I'm a matchup problem." – Brandon Ingram says
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) September 29, 2017
Ingram’s aggressive mentality began during the second half of last season when he upped his averages to 13.2 points and 2.5 assists, shooting 47.5 percent from the field after averaging just 8.0 points and 1.9 assists and 36.3 percent in the first half. He continued that into the Las Vegas Summer League when he scored 26 points with ease in his lone game.
If he takes the strides that everyone in the organization expects him to take in his second year, then he could become a cornerstone of the Lakers organization moving forward alongside point guard Lonzo Ball.