Though his numbers haven’t been great, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram has been making an impact for the team so far this season. Head coach Luke Walton has praised his defensive potential, often assigning him to guard other team’s star players, and his basketball IQ, which has allowed him to play point guard at times.
Ingram has been great at affecting games even when his offensive game is struggling, but unfortunately that has been the case more often than not so far. Ingram is averaging only 8.1 points per game, but more worrying is his 36.6 percent field goal percentage and 29.6 percent three-point percentage.
Coming into the year, Ingram’s shooting was something that many believed was his strongest trait, but he has struggled so far. In an interview with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, Ingram explained what he believes the issue has been:
“I think for the first seven or ten it might have been the confidence in my shot. But now, the last few games, I’ve been getting to my spots, but I’m just not knocking shots down. Definitely, everything I’m doing in warm ups, everything I’m practicing, I’m (able to translate to the games) to get the shots I want now. It’s just about (practicing) different repetitions of what I do in the games, and I’m sure the shots will fall.”
Everyone would love to see Ingram raise his percentages sooner rather than later, and with his shooting stroke, it would seem to be only a matter of time before that happens. In recent weeks Ingram’s aggression has increased noticeably, and as he said, he is doing a better job of getting to his preferred spots on the court.
Struggling with confidence early is normal for a rookie. The good thing for Ingram is that he possesses the work ethic to keep continue improving and the more reps he gets, the more comfortable he will become.
What is most promising about Ingram is that he understands that there are other ways for him to make an impact in the meantime. He has been a solid rebounder in addition to his defense. Once his shot starts falling, Ingram will truly begin to show the potential that everyone saw in him coming into the season.