On Sunday night the young Los Angeles Lakers gave the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers everything they could handle. Even though they ultimately came up short against the Cavs, young players such as D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram proved they have the talent to hang with the league’s best.
While much of the attention will go to Russell and his 40 point night, Ingram also had an excellent showing against one of the NBA’s best players ever in LeBron James.
Ingram finished with 18 points and six rebounds and definitely left an impression on the reigning NBA Finals MVP.
“Kid has a lot of talent. The more and more he plays, the more and more he is going to get more comfortable out there. He has the in-between game, can handle the ball. He shot a couple long balls out there tonight and that worked for him too. The more time you get on the floor, the better and better you become.”
If anyone understands the pressures that come with entering the league at a young age with a ton of pressure it is James. He has been in the same situation that Ingram is in now and understands that time on the court is of the utmost importance.
The Lakers and head coach Luke Walton also understand that which is why Ingram has seen so much time this season. Ingram leads all rookies by a decent margin in minutes and it is beginning to pay dividends. In the month of March, Ingram is averaging 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists and that includes a game against the Boston Celtics where Ingram was held scoreless in 26 minutes.
Thankfully, since that fateful night Ingram has scored in double-figures in every game and looks to be getting far more comfortable on the court. James took notice on this night, and it may not be long before the rest of the league does the same.
**All quotes obtained by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters unless otherwise noted**