LeBron James spoke before the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Houston Rockets about his playoff mode being activated, but he wasn’t the only one. Brandon Ingram was huge for the Lakers, posting a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Ingram was in attack mode all night, finishing with 14 free throw attempts, double the amount of James Harden, who is known for drawing fouls. Ingram also made 11 of those free throws, continuing his recent improvement at the line. His performance definitely stood out to LeBron.
“Nah, he wasn’t a wingman for me. He was special for our team,” James said following the victory.
“B.I. is very special. When he’s rebounding like that, it just activates the rest of his game. He did a great job of rebounding, then he did a great job of getting into the paint and getting his free throws and just being in attack mode all game.”
Ingram has always been a decent rebounder, but on this night he seemed determined to snatch everything in his sight. It was an aggression that many have been hoping to see from Ingram all season, and it helped carry the Lakers on this night.
Having some time off with the All-Star break did Ingram some good as well. “Just had a chance to get back and reflect about the first half of the season,” he noted.
“See where I can be effective, see where I can just be aggressive at all times and get my teammates involved, get myself involved on the offensive and defensive end.”
Being a two-way player is what makes Ingram so special. Having his level of offensive performance while spending most of his night chasing around Harden and Chris Paul is extremely impressive. LeBron refused to call him a sidekick and if Ingram can maintain this level of play for the rest of the year, he’ll be right.
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