Los Angeles Lakers Should Shut Down Brandon Ingram

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Brandon Ingram
ILLINOIS, USA - JANUARY 26: Brandon Ingram (14) of Los Angeles Lakers in action during an NBA game between Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers at United Center on January 26, 2018 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

As the season draws to a close, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the league’s overachievers. ESPN projected the team to win 33 games, a total Luke Walton‘s squad looks set to surpass. With fewer than nine games left, the Lakers have already won 32 games, a great achievement for the NBA’s youngest team. One key to the team’s success has been second-year player Brandon Ingram. The 20-year-old small forward has put together a stellar season, averaging career-highs across the board. Once a contender for the Most Improved Player award, Ingram’s season took a turn when he went down with a groin injury. With so few games remaining, the Lakers should seriously consider shutting Ingram down for the remainder of the season.

Time for Los Angeles Lakers to Shut Down Brandon Ingram

The Risks 

Having missed 15 games already this season due to injury, Ingram is simply too valuable to risk. The last thing the team wants is to have Ingram re-injure himself playing in games that don’t mean anything. As a team that has nothing to play for, Walton and others must be careful with the likes of Ingram as well as rookie Josh Hart. If the season ended today, you could say the Lakers’ year has been a success. This is yet another reason to sit Ingram, as he and the team have nothing left to prove this year.

One major downside to this is, of course, the fans. Fans want to see their team’s best and Ingram is definitely that. However, the team must think big picture. As one of L.A.’s pillars of the future, Ingram must be treated with caution going forward. This off-season should be about improving, not getting healthy.

Exceeding Expectations

After a below par rookie season, Ingram has developed into one of the Lakers’ most valuable players. Capable of playing one through four, the former Duke Blue Devil has exceeded expectations this season. Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball said in an interview with Lakers.com’s Kevin Ding, “He could average 25 right now if he wanted to,” referring to Ingram’s potential scoring average. In the Lakers’ current offense, Ingram can be successful but he has the potential to become dominant. Lakers fans needed to see Ingram take a step forward this season and the talented forward duly obliged.

 

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