Brandon Ingram Is Having a Stellar Sophomore Season

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Brandon Ingram
LOS ANGELES, USA - JANUARY 10 : Brandon Ingram (L) of Los Angeles Lakers in action against Evan Turner (2nd L) of Portland Trail Blazers during a NBA game between Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA on January 10, 2017. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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In what has been a difficult season for the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the few bright spots has been second-year forward Brandon Ingram. After a solid rookie campaign, Ingram has made significant strides in several key areas. Heavily criticized throughout his rookie year, the former Duke Blue Devil is averaging career-highs across the board and is beginning to prove the doubters wrong. Ingram’s development will help the Lakers now and down the road, as a young team looks for a star to emerge from its core.

Brandon Ingram Is Having a Stellar Sophomore Season

2017-18 season so far 

The best way to describe Ingram’s rookie season was par for the course. Not great but at the same time not bad. Looking back, Ingram had a fine first season, especially when you consider his physical disadvantages. Averaging less than 10 points led to some questioning the lanky forward, but as the current season has proved, it was only a matter of time. Now averaging career-highs in all key stats, Ingram has become a core player for the Lakers. Head coach Luke Walton is not only giving his sophomore more minutes, but Walton is actually relying on Ingram as a primary option late in games.

One knock on Ingram this season has been his reluctance to shoot the three. Currently attempting less than two three-pointers a game, Ingram must improve in that area if he is to become a true scoring threat in the NBA. Ingram is turning into a go-to player for the Lakers, something the team has been looking for since Kobe Bryant retired. Ingram’s development is actually staggering, considering how average his rookie year was. Remember, the Lakers turned down the opportunity to trade the youngster, a decision which is beginning to pay off.

Ingram’s development

Having turned 20 in September, Ingram is still a baby in the NBA. The 6’9” forward has been one of the Lakers’ best scorers this season and continues to improve from game-to-game. One major critique of Ingram’s game last season was his lack of shooting efficiency. Along with his slight frame, fans often pointed out his passive attitude when shooting the ball. Whether it was a lack of confidence or just failing to adapt to the NBA game, Ingram was struggling. However, this season Ingram has improved in all three shooting categories. Shooting 46 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc, Ingram not only looks more confident, but he finally looks comfortable in comparison to last season.

If he continues to develop at this rate, Ingram looks set to be the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise. Along with rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, Ingram is a part of what is known as the untouchable trio. Since becoming president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson has set out future plans for the team. As the year has played out, Ingram, Ball, and Kuzma have been earmarked as “untouchables,” meaning that they won’t be traded. 2018 is going to be a huge year for the Lakers organization. Players’ futures will be decided and the competitive future of the team relies purely on free agency.

 

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