Brandon Ingram’s struggles have been one of the biggest stories of the Los Angeles Lakers’ preaseason games so far. The sophomore forward has looked confident but his play hasn’t warranted it, with Ingram shooting a team-worst 26.7 percent from the field while still launching 10 shots per game, which ranks third on the Lakers.
Ingram’s struggles have been a far cry from the hype he was receiving all offseason, whether it was Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson calling him “untouchable” or saying he would be “disappointed” if Ingram didn’t average 20 points per game this season.
That scoring average looks far in the distance right now, and after the Lakers’ latest practice head coach Luke Walton made it sound as if he thinks Ingram’s struggles are in large part due to him trying to reach that plateau via Lakers Nation Reporter Serena Winters:
“I think because of [wanting to reach expectations] he’s had some possessions where he definitely is trying to do too much […] Have fun with your young teammates and growing together and just let the game kind of come to you as opposed to trying to go out there and force some things.”
Ingram does appear to be forcing things at times in order to reach a ceiling that’s higher than even his wingspan, and if he might do better to take a step back from expectations that were probably too high for a 20-year-old in their second season anyway. Ingram still has plenty of time to be great, but for now he just needs to keep fine-tuning the little parts of his game from his shot to his dribble.
If Ingram can do so, eventually he may live up to all the hype he was getting. For now just making a difference while he’s on the floor or at least trending in a positive direction is enough.