Growing confidence and familiarity with the game have contributed to Brandon Ingram‘s gradual improvement this season. The No. 2 overall pick has seen his minutes climb over the course of the season and head coach Luke Walton believes that the exposure has paid off.
“I think it’s more just an overall confidence that he’s gaining from playing night after night after night,” Walton told Joey Ramirez of the team’s official website.
In eight March games, Ingram has averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds, a sign that Los Angeles’ decision to rest veterans Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng in favor of giving their young players more of an opportunity is paying off.
Ingram’s statistical improvements, Ramirez writes, stem not from an increase in three-point shooting but maturation attacking the hoop and a more reliable mid-range game.
There’s more out of Los Angeles:
- Head coach Luke Walton is proud of D’Angelo Russell for sticking up for Nick Young in a brief altercation with the Bucks this week and didn’t feed into Draymond Green‘s criticism of the second-year guard’s actions. “I was proud of D’Angelo for getting in there and sticking up for his teammate,” Walton told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
- The Lakers will get extra opportunities to scout Lonzo Ball as UCLA squares off in the NCAA Tournament. The 6’7″ guard has spurred a “cultural revolution” for the Bruins, writes Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Daily News, and could be of particular interest to Magic Johnson.
- He may be from Los Angeles but Amir Johnson still plays for the Celtics. That, of course, makes his high praise for recently appointed president of basketball operations Magic Johnson particularly compelling. “I always saw how Magic has a lot of businesses — the Magic Johnson theaters and 24-Hour Fitness and all that — and I think it’s dope that he really committed to the community. He’s doing all this great stuff. It kind of shows you what this job can do for you,” the forward told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.