The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a close loss on Sunday night to the Detroit Pistons in a game in which they got very little production from their front court. That includes rookie Brandon Ingram who scored only five points on 1-7 shooting.
Ingram did add four rebounds, three assists, and a block but overall it was not a great night for the rookie. Despite his struggles however, Ingram found himself out on the court down the stretch of this game that was decided in the final minute.
Head coach Luke Walton has been very open about his belief in Ingram and how he helps the team in multiple ways. Even though Ingram wasn’t at his best, Walton admitted to taking a big picture approach in having Ingram on the floor to end the game.
“It is good for him to go through that. I think it motivates players that want to be great and I think Brandon wants to be great. Even though it can hurt here or there, I think in the big picture and long run it only makes him and makes us a better team.”
Ingram’s potential is apparent to anyone who watches him. Many believe Ingram has the most potential of any of the Lakers young core and going through these growing pains should ultimately help him in the long run. If he is to become the superstar the Lakers hope he will be, getting more comfortable in crunch time is a must.
From the moment he came in, Walton has said that this season will be about development and not wins. Moves such as this, that are more focused on player growth as opposed to immediate results are proof of that.
It can be difficult to balance wanting to win immediately with wanting to get young players experience and opportunities. Walton believes that giving Ingram these crunch time minutes will ultimately help him and with the season going the way it is, it’s hard to argue.