Over the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent stretch of games, third-year forward Brandon Ingram has begun to raise his level of play. Ingram is averaging 24.3 points on a ridiculous 62.8 percent field goal percentage in the last five games.
Perhaps just as impressive is that Ingram is doing this without a consistent three-point shot. Over this same stretch Ingram has made just one of seven 3-pointers, instead relying on an excellent mid-range stroke and attacking the basket to get things done.
In this three-point heavy era it is unusual to see someone score in the way that Ingram does, but Luke Walton sees some similarities with a current multi-time All-Star.
“With Brandon, to me, and I’m not calling him [Demar] DeRozan, but it’s the same thing,” Walton noted. “Are you going to tell me you don’t want DeRozan on your team because he doesn’t shoot threes?
“When he’s in that good rhythm, making passes when he should, getting to his spots and hitting shots, I’ll take those rhythm pull-ups from him all day over a three-point shot.”
Ingram was particularly impressive en route to scoring a career-high 36 points against the Philadelphia 76ers. He did so while shooting 16-of-20 from the field.
“I thought he was in a nice, comfortable groove,” Walton said. “And that’s a big, physical team he did that against. We know what Brandon is capable of. It was good to see him put one of those nights together.”
With all that Ingram is showing on the court, there is no doubt that improving his three-point shot will only make him even more dangerous. That is something Walton believe will come with time.
“He’s going to be a good three-point shooter, too. When you’re around him as much as we are, we see how he works,” Walton added.
“His three-point shot when he shoots with Coach Keefe, he makes most of them. There’s great rotation on it, he’s compact, balance is good. It just hasn’t carried over to the games yet. But it will, because he does it every single day and he’s good at it. His midrange will always be part of who he is as a player.”
It is what makes Ingram such a promising prospect. The tools he has are evident and his potential is vast, but his shortcomings are also glaring as well. But he will also put in all the necessary work to improve. Whether that shows up on the court remains to be seen, but it doesn’t take away from what he is now.
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