Last season was about as entertaining as a 35-win campaign can be with young players like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart playing integral roles for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team improved its competitiveness while demonstrating development along the way. But despite flashes of individual brilliance, Ingram and Ball often flourished away from each other rather than in tandem.
Injuries limited the pairing to 39 games together, yielding just 35 assists from Ball to Ingram in 1,005 minutes. That’s a remarkably low number for a player who averaged 7.2 assists on the season to a fellow starter that nearly led the team in scoring.
Let’s take a closer look at where they showed chemistry, and where they still need to grow.
.@LakerFilmRoom took a look at all 35 of Lonzo Ball's assists to Brandon Ingram last year and broke down how the two fit together well, and where their pairing can improve:https://t.co/0m7sgQynG0 pic.twitter.com/Dsfq4WSnqx— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) August 17, 2018
Both Ball and Ingram are fantastic in transition, but still finding their way in half-court situations. Ball isn’t much of a threat to score when driving to the basket and Ingram isn’t much of a threat to let threes fly at a high-volume. Their awkward fit in two-man game actions combined with those factors to place them in their own offensive orbits.
LeBron James will drastically change the offensive dynamic of the starting lineup, and both Ingram and Ball project comfortably next to him. But if the Lakers want to reach their full offensive potential, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram need to learn how to thrive because of each other.
Here’s a breakdown of those 35 assists:
Half Court - Swing Passes = 8
Transition - Hit Aheads = 5
Transition - Trailer = 4
Transition - Rim Runs = 4
Half Court - Handoffs = 3
Half Court - Baseline Out of Bounds = 3
Transition - Other = 3
Half Court - Pick & Roll Skip Pass = 2
Half Court - Drive & Kick = 1
Half Court - Cutter = 1
Half Court - Post Entry = 1