Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers envisioned a team full of versatility and playmakers, led by LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram.
Through the first two games of the preseason against the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers have been overpassing at times, highlighted by Isaac Bonga making an extra pass as the clock expired with an opportunity to either tie or win the game.
To Ingram, that’s a byproduct of the Lakers still learning how to play together.”We’re going through preseason right now so we’re trying to figure out each other’s game,” Ingram said.
“I think we really emulated the way we want to play: running the floor and finding the open guy. I think we rebounded the ball a little bit better, stayed in front of our guy and had each other’s back on the help side.”
While it cost the Lakers their first win of the preseason, the 20-year-old believes overpassing is ultimately a good problem to have.
“That’s the fun way to play when you’re trying to find the open guy and get the best shot for the team,” Ingram said. “Leaving our egos, knowing that we came to win, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s getting a good shot, a defensive play, whatever it is.”
Despite the two losses, Ingram likes the direction of the team with the right mix of young prospects and veterans. “I think it’s really goo,” he said.
“We get along, have the right attitude, everybody has good character. When we go into the gym we know exactly what we want to do, so I think that helps us build a cohesion.”
As Ingram is surprisingly the longest-tenured Laker now, James’ debut at Staples Center made it feel like a regular season game.
“No, it didn’t,” Ingram said. “As soon as we ran out, it felt like a regular game. Pretty good atmosphere to play in.”
Although there are high expectations in Year 1 with James and the young core, it will take time for the Lakers to build chemistry. With three of the top 10 players in assists during the 2017-18 season, there will be another adjustment once Lonzo Ball returns from left knee surgery.