A win/loss record does not truly state how talented a team is. The Los Angeles Lakers are proof of that. Their 26 wins in 2016 were just a stepping stone as they tried to usher in a new era after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. Mix that in with the direction of a new head coach, plus high-priced free agents who didn’t live up to expectations and that’s what you’ll get. However, there is hope for the future and his name is Brandon Ingram.
Last season, in his rookie year, Ingram had a tough time adjusting. He did show flashes of what’s possible but those were few and far in between.
If Ingram’s play during The Summer League is any indication of what to expect then Lakers fans are in for a treat. With Lonzo Ball leading the charge we got to see what Ingram is capable of with a little trust. The Lakers of 2016 were more out to prove a point to the masses instead of playing as a cohesive unit. That is one of the reasons why D’Angelo Russell is gone and Jordan Clarkson name is being mentioned in trade talks.
If Ingram, Ball, and Brook Lopez can forge a bond quickly, then the sky is t the limit for this athletic player. Ingram can easily manage 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game now that he has a point guard who’s willing to look for others before looking for his own shot. Ingram loves to run the floor and with Lopez down in the post along with Julius Randle he should see more opportunities in the wings to contribute from a perimeter standpoint.
Watching Ingram play is like watching Paul George in the early stages of his career.
In 2016, Ingram averaged nine points and four rebounds in 29 minutes of action while starting 40 games. But as I stated earlier, the Lakers were still getting to know how to play with one another and follow the directions of a new coach. With Ingram clearly penciled in as the starting small forward entering the 2017 season he should see more than eight shot attempts per game. Ball and Lopez are the keys for the team to succeed but Ingram is the key for him to succeed. If Ingram believes that he can be that player for the Lakers then his improvement is already settled. It’s just a matter of the Adam Silver handing him the award.