Brandon Ingram looks set for a sophomore season far better than his rookie one after a superlative performance in his first game of Las Vegas Summer league nearly a month ago, dropping 26 points, to go with three steals and two blocks in his only game of the summer before the Los Angeles Lakers shut him down.
Now it’s important to remember that one summer league game does not a breakout season make, but it was the way Ingram dominated against the LA Clippers that makes it appear as though he’s ready to make a second-year leap. It was exactly the type of game fans had been hoping to see from Ingram after an up-and-down rookie season, featuring balletic footwork supplementing his improved strength and finishing skills around the basket.
The NBA regular season is a different beast, but Ingram at the very least appears to be working on the right things, as this excellent video from Pete Zayas of Laker Film Room demonstrates:
Zayas’ videos are always good at pointing out tons of little things about the Lakers, from which ways Ingram improved his footwork to the types of things he needs to work on. More specifically, how far forward Ingram releases his shot making it easier for defenders to contest it is the type of granular stuff it’s sometimes hard to catch on first watch.
Another thing that was obvious from the video was how much chemistry Ingram and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball showed in transition after just about a week of practices. The way they played off of each other offers hope that their development will be somewhat symbiotic, with Ball’s quick hit ahead passes taking advantage of Ingram’s long strides on the break, and Ingram giving Ball an easy target with his length as he glides down the court.
As the end of the video makes clear, Ingram still has a long ways to go before he is regularly putting up the type of games he had in his first game of summer league, but the way he played also showed how much better he’ll be in his second season.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.