Offseason additions Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were brought in this offseason togive the Los Angeles Lakers a bigger offensive punch. Aside from their additions however, internal growth will play a big part in this coming season, particularly from second-year forward Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers are extremely high on Ingram, refusing to include him in any trades despite everyone asking about him who was in contact with the Lakers. Expectations for him are high this season, and Magic Johnson has no problems putting a little pressure on anyone.
According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Johnson said that he expects Ingram to lead the Lakers in scoring this season:
“I expect him to lead us in scoring, be out there and be the man. It’s his team,” Johnson said of Ingram. “It would be disappointing if he didn’t score up toward 20 points a game.
Ingram, for his part, took Johnson’s proclamation in stride, noting that no one sets higher standards than himself:
“My standard is higher than anyone else can set. So with things like that, I just take it all in, ” Ingram said. “I’ve been in this league for one year, so I don’t know what to expect my second year or my third year. But I just know I’m going to work the hardest.”
Ingram undoubtedly has the talent and work ethic to make it happen. At the end of last season he began showing a ton of development that got fans and the organization excited. That continued in his lone summer league game when he was a man amongst boys on his way to 26 points on only 17 shots.
Whether Ingram accomplishes the goal set by Johnson remains to be seen, but Ingram is certainly capable of making it happen. Taking that kind of leap in his second season is precisely what the Lakers are looking for as they try and get back into playoff contention.