While Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have generated the most buzz, the Los Angeles Lakers have quietly seen tremendous growth from second-year forward Brandon Ingram this season.
After averaging just 9.4 points per game during his rookie season, Ingram has increased that total to 16.2 thus far. What’s more, he’s knocking down 44.6 percent of his shots this year, compared to a 40 percent showing just a year ago.
On the defensive side, Ingram is averaging nearly one block and one steal per game. He has also emerged as the Lakers’ go-to scoring option late in games, and that was evident when the Duke product knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer earlier this year against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ingram recently revealed which players he has studied in his short time as an NBA player, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
“There are a lot of guys around the league, whether they’re smaller players or bigger players. Whether it’s watching Giannis [Antetokounmpo] going to the rim, whether it’s watching KD with his pull-up jumper, whether it’s watching Shaun Livingston with his post work and ability to shoot over guys… I try to watch anyone else who has the size and length to shoot over other guys, like I have. You can take bits and pieces away from watching those guys.”
Coming out of the 2016 NBA Draft, Ingram drew many comparisons to the aforementioned Kevin Durant for their similar builds and scoring potential. In late November, the 20-year-old dropped a career-high 32 points against Durant’s Golden State Warriors and nearly led the Lakers to an upset victory.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton recently echoed those sentiments and believes Ingram’s newfound confidence was rubbing off on his teammates.
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