There wasn’t a lot to be excited about as a Los Angeles Lakers fan on Monday. Not only did the Lakers lose to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on the road, but they were leapfrogged by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the standings, dropping them to the 11th seed in the Western Conference.
However, if there was one positive thing to take away from Monday’s game, it was the fact that Brandon Ingram once again looked like someone that was slowly starting to put it together.
In 38 minutes against the Grizzlies, the 21-year-old forward led Los Angeles with 32 points on 12-18 shooting from the field, and 3-3 shooting from behind the arc to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal. He also made five of his six free-throw attempts.
Over his last 15 games, Ingram is averaging 20.8 points on 53.5 percent shooting from the field, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Ingram is the only player in the league 21 years old or under to average at least 20 points per game on above 50 percent shooting from the field during that time. He’s also in pretty good company historically for the season:
I'll check the numbers in the morning when they are updated to verify that they reflect tonight's game as well, but so far Brandon Ingram is averaging 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting 48.6 percent from the field in his age-21 season.— Gary Kester (@garykester) February 26, 2019
But while the Kinston, North Carolina native is easily playing the best basketball of his young career, to him, his success comes secondary to the team’s success. Following the Lakers’ loss to Memphis, Ingram told reporters on Spectrum SportsNet that his stats don’t mean anything if his team isn’t winning:
“I don’t think my game matters at all if it’s not a win.”
Unfortunately for Ingram, the Lakers haven’t done much winning during his impressive stretch of games, as they’ve gone 5-10 over their last 15 contests. Despite this, Ingram is confident they’ll start winning games again soon if they can take the things they’ve done well as a team and continue to improve at them:
“I think on the defensive end we’re just continuing to stay connected, and we’re a little bit better in our schemes. We’re just trying to have another sense of urgency leading into these next games.”
How can the Lakers get past these losses and regain that sense of urgency? Ingram told reporters that the Lakers just have to push the losses out of their minds:
“Just put it away. Put it away. We have another game on Wednesday. That’s the good thing about NBA basketball: We always have a chance to go out and redeem ourselves the next night (if) we just come in with another sense of urgency on the offensive and defensive end and be better.”
The Lakers will have the opportunity to bounce back against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at Staples Center. If they can’t lock in then, what they do for the rest of the season might not matter.