It isn’t easy being a 19-year-old rookie in the NBA. A week ago, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram had arguably his best performance of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a win over Paul George and the Indiana Pacers.
Since then, Ingram has scored just six points in three games, including going scoreless in the past two games. During that span, he is shooting just 2-23 from the field, an alarming stat for any player, let alone the second overall pick in the NBA draft. However, Lakers head coach Luke Walton believes that Ingram will find his way again despite his struggles shooting the ball (via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters and Spectrum SportsNet):
Luke on Brandon Ingram: “Looks like he’s a little hesitant again for whatever reason, not sure why….Confident he’ll find his way.” (on SPSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 27, 2017
For the season, Ingram’s shooting hasn’t been as advertised. A 41 percent marksman from three in college, he has averaged just 29 percent as a pro, and 36 percent from the field overall. Still, until his recent skid, Ingram’s shot was falling much more regularly in the month of January, giving hope that the lanky swingman just needed some time to adjust to the NBA game.
That is still likely the case, but this recent stretch won’t do anything to quiet the doubters.
Of course, many young players have been written off early only to come back and have successful careers. Case in point, MVP-candidate James Harden was slapped with the “bust” label during his rookie year, but things obviously turned out just fine.
Ingram is still finding his place in the NBA, and once he gets his shot to fall consistently his mix of skills and ridiculous length should allow him to become a very good player in the NBA for years to come.