As the offseason went on, one constant that every fan of the Los Angeles Lakers heard was how good Brandon Ingram looked. After a solid end to his rookie season, and a promising summer league appearance, there was plenty of belief that Ingram would take another step forward.
The expectations only raised when President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson said he would be disappointed if Ingram didn’t average 20 points this season. General Manager Rob Pelinka added that Ingram will be the team’s primary playmaker down the stretch of games this year.
This has only made Ingram’s start to the preseason that much more disappointing. In three games Ingram is averaging just eight points on 26.7 percent shooting and 12.5 percent from three-point range and according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, some within the organization believe expectations may have been set too high:
“One team source acknowledged that expectations may have been set too high for Ingram—that even 14 or 15 points per game seemed optimistic in the short term.”
Ingram more than doubling his scoring average from his rookie season was probably too much to ask. The second-year forward is still developing, both physically and mentally, and that is a huge leap. That being said, Ingram has still shown flashes of his growth.
He is clearly more confident and aggressive than he was last season, which is a positive. As both he and head coach Luke Walton have pointed out however, he is forcing too much right now as he looks to prove everyone right and become the player the Lakers front office believes he will be.
Once Ingram relaxes and lets the game come to him more, it should benefit his game. Scoring 20 points a game is likely still too much to ask, but big improvements from what he’s shown so far should also come as well.