Los Angeles Lakers: Is there hope for Brandon Ingram?
Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has disappointed some people thus far this season, but they should not yet give up on the third-year player.
Over the summer, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, and general manager, Rob Pelinka hyped up Brandon Ingram beyond belief.
The Lakers front office started saying things like, “Brandon’s the only Lakers player who’s untouchable,” or “Ingram’s going to be an all-star this year.”
Then, Ingram’s camp released his summer training videos, which showed Ingram dribbling two balls, (one small and one big) at the same time. Or Ingram nailing turnaround jumpers while his trainer pushed him with a big black pad.
After that, almost all of the talking heads started claiming Ingram would win the Most Improved Player Award or he’d be an All-Star this year.
I’ll admit I believed the hype and I jumped on the Brandon Ingram train. I told all of my friends that Ingram was going to be an All-Star this season and that he’d definitely average 20 points, five assists, five rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.
The talking heads were wrong about Ingram and so was I. He’s not going to be an All-Star this year. Through the first quarter of the season, he’s averaging: 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.73 steals, and 0.67 blocks per game. The way Brandon’s gone about things on the court has left me puzzled, to say the least.
During Lakers games I find myself gripping my chair out of frustration as I ponder the reasons why a guy who has a 7-foot 3-inch wingspan can pull down so few rebounds or get so few blocks.
Is Ingram scared he’s going to jam a finger if he goes for a rebound? Is he worried that if he sticks out one of his arms and actually blocks somebody’s shot he’ll sprain his wrist? I really don’t understand how his defensive numbers are so low.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Ingram’s defensive stats that are bad. All of Ingram’s advanced stats are down from last year:
Almost all of Ingram’s traditional stats are also down from last year as well:
Should Lakers fans give up on Brandon Ingram? NO. There is hope for Brandon Ingram.
Let’s take a look at three players who didn’t exactly impress during their 3rd year seasons but, became All-Stars during their 4th seasons in the NBA.
During Harden’s 3rd season in the league, he put up similar stats to what Ingram is posting now, but Harden’s numbers jumped across the board during his 4th season and he became an All-Star.
Obviously, Harden’s situation has one extenuating circumstance; he was traded to Houston before his 4th NBA season began. The trade to Houston helped boost Harden’s numbers, but even if he had stayed in OKC, he would have put up All-Star numbers during his 4th season.
Many of Butler’s stats during his 3rd season were actually worse than Ingram’s current numbers. Butler made massive improvements in every one of his stats during his 4th season. I guess after Butler’s 3rd season something clicked.
Green is a special player and much different than Ingram, but even Draymond needed four seasons in the NBA to raise up his shooting numbers and his per game assists. It wasn’t until Green’s 4th season that every facet of his game started to work full throttle.
Ingram is just as talented as Harden, Butler, and Green, but he is younger than all of them were during their 3rd seasons. If Ingram continues to put in time at the gym and if he keeps on working harder than every other Lakers player, there’s no doubt that he can become an All-Star.