Los Angeles Lakers second-year forward Brandon Ingram has been relatively up and down so far this season. Against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, Ingram had one of the better games of his career.
Ingram finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists while shooting 50 percent from the field. Additionally, his tip-in with 0.7 seconds left sent the game to overtime in an eventual 102-99 win for the Lakers.
As for the catalyst for Ingram’s performance, head coach Luke Walton pointed to some trash-talking between him and Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr., who guarded him for much of the night. Ingram’s response is something Walton remembers to also be the case last season.
“Early he seemed to be a little flustered. I think him and Oubre [Jr.] got into it a little bit, which people that covered the Lakers last year saw when that happens to Brandon, he plays better,” Walton said. “I thought when they started jawing a little bit, it for whatever reason got Brandon to another level.”
Every player needs some kind of motivation, whether it be self-created or comes from outside sources. Ingram already seemed locked-in coming into the game as he spoke up about the tweets from Marcin Gortat, imploring that the Lakers would have rookie Lonzo Ball’s back.
Oubre Jr. having words with Ingram just seemed to take him to another level and the Lakers needed it. While Ingram is a relatively quiet person in general, he has been learning to speak up more and has talked about becoming a more vocal leader on this team.
Ultimately he backed up his words on this night as he led the Lakers to a win which is the most important thing. Ingram doesn’t back down from anyone and he is proving that. On this night the results backed that up and he will need to make that a regular occurrence.