Sunday, December 17, 2017

Matched Against LeBron James, Brandon Ingram Continued to Emerge

In their recent game against the Cavs, the Lakers were able to keep the game within striking distance.  Nonetheless, they still lost, 112-121, falling to a difficult-to-recover-from record of 10-17.

The silver lining is that the young players showed solid play.  Brandom Ingram had 26 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds.  Lonzo Ball had a near triple-double – 13 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds.  Kyle Kuzma (who should be starting) came off the bench to contribute 20 points and 7 rebounds.  Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle also came off the bench to score in double figures (11 and 13, respectively), as they usually do (with Kuzma, Clarkson, and Randle, the Lakers are currently top in bench scoring).  Heck, even Josh Hart somewhat impressed in his first career start with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

However, the thing that thrilled me the most is the defense of Brandon Ingram on LeBron James.

Sure, in the end, LeBron had a triple-double – 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists – and led his team to victory.  But consider this: whenever Ingram was on him, he just shot 1-of-5!

And this sequence is simply awesome.
Ingram got under the screen and into the paint when LeBron began to launch a three-point shot.  Yet, because of his length, he effortlessly closed in and forced a miss!  This then led to him leaking out and receiving one of Lonzo’s signature astonishingly on-the-mark cross-court passes for a layup.

First, Durant.  Now, LeBron.  Ingram’s stellar performances against the planet’s top players is very, very heartening to see as a Laker fan.

Considering his long wingspan, growing killer instinct, eagerness to be a closer in the clutch, and exciting development as a defender, Ingram can eventually become the Lakers’ version of Kawhi Leonard.  Or, much better, the next Kobe.  Fingers crossed!

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