One of the more interesting aspects to watch with the Los Angeles Lakers this season has been the progression of second-year forward Brandon Ingram. After a less than stellar rookie season, Ingram looks like a completely different player in year two.
Arguably the biggest growth has been his aggression in attacking the basket. Ingram no longer shies away from contact, instead initiating and finishing through and around it. This isn’t by accident as head coach Luke Walton notes.
“He spent the summer getting stronger,” Walton said after shootaround Monday. “He goes to that weight room consistently, I think he’s better understanding what it’s like to take that contact at this level and finish, and where he can use his length and angles to get advantages for himself.”
This has led to Ingram scoring at a better rate, and more efficiently. He has the look and mindset of a top scoring option on the team, something that was lacking severely as a rookie.
“It’s just part of the natural process for players that work hard,” Walton explained of the growth. “He’s a very hard worker and he’s just getting more confident and comfortable at this level.”
Ingram’s 14.7 points per game rank third on the Lakers, and he has been extremely consistent this season, scoring in double-figures in 15 of the team’s 19 games so far. Additionally, Ingram’s rebounding and assists have improved as he continues to flash his all-around game.
There is still plenty of room for growth for Ingram. Most notably, he is only shooting 30 percent from 3-point range. While that is slightly better than a season ago, he is shooting less often from deep.
Nonetheless, Ingram not settling for jumpers and constantly attacking the basket is a great sign. For his part, Ingram recently said he believes there’s plenty more to contribute, both on the offensive and defensive side.
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