The most frustrating aspect of games like golf or bowling is the feeling of doing the exact same thing and on one occasion, the ball doing exactly what you wanted it to and on the next, disaster striking. The idea that you know you can do it, but not being able to replicate it as much.
In those games, though, you at least know where the blame lies: The game itself. Wait, no, the blame is all on you. That’s really it. No one else. With Brandon Ingram and his fluctuation from moving without the ball and making quick decisions to dragging ball movement into the mud with mostly inefficient isolation play, though, it’s hard to pinpoint where blame resides.
On today’s episode of the Locked on Lakers podcast, Pete and I try to figure out who deserves the most blame for Ingram’s approach following a positively gut-wrenching loss to the Sacramento Kings that perfectly encapsulated why Ingram can be so frustrating to watch.
For most of the game, Ingram (and to be fair to him, the rest of the Lakers) played the way they’ll need to with LeBron James out. Collectively, they moved the ball, made quick decisions and put Sacramento into tough spots trying to stop multiple options at once. In the final minutes of the game as the lead evaporated, the ball stopped moving and Ingram reverted back to the isolation-heavy approach to offense that gets him in trouble.
What’s tough to figure out is whether this is a coaching and organizational issue or if Ingram hears those notes on how to play and just goes back to what he feels more comfortable doing. Honestly, we’ll never really know what the exactly dispersion of blame might look like. But Ingram and the Lakers need to figure this out and soon, because the results of relying on Ingram isolations versus him playing the right way are night and day.
Pete and I also gave credit to Lonzo Ball for his game Thursday night; we were split on how we felt about Kyle Kuzma’s game (Pete, it turns out, is a hater); and we used Thursday night as a foundation to how it seems the Lakers are going to play while LeBron is out.
Listen to the full conversation below and make sure to subscribe on iTunes so you don’t miss an episode.