Although the losses are piling up and the Los Angeles Lakers look very far from the playoffs, there is a silver lining, and that is the recent play of Brandon Ingram. Even though LeBron James has criticized teammates at different points since the All-Star Break, he remains very complementary of Ingram’s play.
Ingram fully deserves it, as he has finally taken his game to another level, one that many analysts and front offices around the league were doubting he’d ever reach. In 30 games since returning from injury in December, Ingram is averaging 20.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
But the “zone” James continues to refer to has been since the All-Star Break. In the last five games, Ingram has been playing by far the best basketball of his career, averaging 28.4 points and 7.6 rebounds on 58 percent shooting from the field.
“That he’s stayed in it,” answered James when asked what he’s most impressed by with Ingram. “He’s found his groove, found his niche. I mean, he can get anywhere on the floor, he can shoot over anybody with his length, he can attack. He’s in a really, really, really, really good zone. I love everything about it.”
James and Ingram have led the Lakers since the break, and although they are 2-3 during that time, it appears that the two of them are most certainly not at fault.
The supporting cast, which at the team’s peak was a net positive on a near nightly basis, has tapered off. In the loss to the Bucks, Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were a minus-17 and minus-22, respectively.
The great play of Ingram means little if the Lakers can’t find a way to get wins. And Ingram now feels more confident than ever in his play, which means the last month or so of the season should be good for him.
Hopefully, the supporting cast can do enough to lift James and Ingram into the playoffs.
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