If the Los Angeles Lakers enjoy huge improvement over last year, it will mostly be thanks to that LeBron James guy showing up. But if they really want to count themselves among the legitimate contenders in the league sooner rather than later, it will be because Brandon Ingram made another huge leap.
To figure out whether he’s capable of that and what that would even look like, I brought Pete on for the latest edition of the Locked on Lakers player preview series.
For a quick refresher on the format of these previews, here’s how the episodes break down:
In segment one, we discuss the season(s) the player had to get them to where they are now. That kind of context is critical in properly setting expectations moving forward.
Segment two covers what we’d like to see from the player individually.
Then, in the the third segment, we figure out how those individual expectations fit into the team construct.
So, to start, we talked about how Ingram arrived here and how careful we have to be not to set expectations too high as an overcorrection for what we saw last year compared to his up-and-down (and mostly down) rookie season.
From there, we discussed which ways he’s most likely to take another step forward. Most notably: On the defensive end. He has the tools to make it work, but can he put it all together to become a force on that part of the game?
We then discussed whether the improvements Ingram makes individually fit into the team construct, and how best to make that happen. Honestly, just having LeBron around to learn from is going to work wonders for Ingram’s game. We spent a lot of time on that dynamic.
As always, this is just a tidbit of the full context given in the show. Listen to the full discussion below and please check out old episodes or guarantee you won’t miss any ever again by subscribing on iTunes.