Southwest Notes: Ingram, Popovich, Doncic, Zion

Brandon Ingram had planned to be a Lakers star for a long time, but that changed when Anthony Davis became available last summer. Ingram was part of a package of young talent that was sent to the Pelicans for the star big man, but he has fond memories of his three seasons in Los Angeles, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

“I think it’s love from each end, because if it was a bad remark or a negative remark, maybe go back, re-tune something and get better at it,” he said of his relationship with Lakers fans. “If it was a good remark, then I thank them for knowing the game of basketball and the person that I am, and that I was gonna get better. So it’s all love from each side. I still got love for the Laker fans, I still got love for the Duke fans.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Gregg Popovich continues to stress player development even though his Spurs are in the middle of the battle for the eighth and ninth seeds in the Western Conference, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Veteran guard Patty Mills sat out Friday’s win over the Jazz to give time to Keldon Johnson, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Drew Eubanks, none of whom have playoff experience. “This is all about development, I’ve said that from the beginning,” Popovich said. “The young guys, they get evaluated, we see them playing together and we get to determine how valuable they are in terms of the guys we want to move forward with.”
  • The Grizzlies used a lineup change Friday to pick up their first win since arriving in Orlando, Vardon adds in the same story. Brandon Clarke had been replacing injured big man Jaren Jackson Jr., but coach Taylor Jenkins opted to go with Anthony Tolliver. Memphis outscored Oklahoma City by 21 points while Tolliver was on the court.
  • Three ESPN writers look at what to expect from Mavericks guard Luka Doncic as he gets ready for his first NBA playoff series.
  • Zion Williamson is expected to be ready to face the Spurs tomorrow in a crucial game in the playoff race, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Williamson missed Friday’s game, but the Pelicans didn’t list anyone on today’s injury report.
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18 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Ingram, Popovich, Doncic, Zion

  1. Simmons>Russ

    Brandon Ingram with vs Without Zion Williamson vs Ingram on the Lakers

    25.4 points vs 21.1 points vs 18.3 points
    6.7 rebounds vs 5.1 rebounds vs 5.1 rebounds
    4.4 assists vs 3.8 assists vs 3 assists

    47.3 vs 44.2 vs 46.3 FG%
    40 vs 37.1 vs 33 3P%
    86 vs 83.5 vs 67.5 FT%

    Ingram works best as the primary ball handler/main scoring option on his team. When he isn’t he isn’t as good going from an all star level player to average.
    As you can see he is efficient and effective and at his best with a LeBron or Zion taking touches away from him and making him be the sidekick.

    I think long term wise Ingram and Zion won’t work. Zion needs more and more touches the fitter and healthier he gets which takes away from Ingram ball. With Ingram going to get the max you can’t be paying 30mil for 20-5-5 from your second best player, especially when Zion will probably want to take the SF position moving Ingram to PF.

    That’s why I think the Pelicans who have a bunch of young players and picks need to make the step from being okay to being potentially great. Trade for Devin Booker and build around him and Zion together. Booker this year has shown not only how great he is but how he probably works at his best when he has other good players around him. Booker would have Holiday and Zion which for him is a huge improvement from Rubio and Ayton. You’d be combining one of the best young shooters and scorers with one of the most physically dominant young players in the game. Ingram Lonzo Zion and young dudes probably won’t ever even make the WCF but Holiday Booker and Zion that has potential to be something.

    I feel like the best time to make a huge trade like this is probably now. LeBron is aging and has shown he isn’t the LeBron from the Cavs days. Curry and Klay both had injuries and along with Draymond they are all over 30 now. Harden and Russ are both 30+. The Pelicans time to shine is now. Have Zion and Booker hitting their primes as these guys leave the game or take up role playing positions and be one of the best teams in the league.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Luca will be the third MVP finalist next season in place of LeBron.

    • El Don

      As far as I can see LBJ has been much better for LAL than he was for CLE, a bit confused about that statement, right?

      • Simmons>Russ

        At Cleveland he single handily took them to the NBA finals. He also helped lead a come back from 3-1 down which had never been done before. In LA he’s done what? Didn’t make the playoffs last year and this year, yes he’s been a MVP finalist and has been good but he isn’t the same beast.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          dude got injured last year hence the reason for missing the playoffs, also didn’t have AD.

        • El Don

          Don’t care about playoffs! LBJ hasn’t played any in LAL so far! So the only comparison is the RS, & both in LAL are as good or better than what he did in CLE, that is a fact!

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        It makes perfect sense, LeBron is already in his twilight years and can barely stay healthy anymore. His best days are behind him, in 2021 expect a tremendous for LBJ. He is finished.

          • ThePeople'sElbow

            i dunno. his PER has remained relatively consistent the past 6 years. meanwhile Westbrick’s PER has declined rapidly from his lone MVP season. Nearly 9 PER less, I’d consider that a tremendous dropoff. Just saying.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      They haven’t even played a yr together. Slow your roll. They just need time. Suns are giving up on Booker. Never. Pels need to just play. Holiday is the big chip. They can get value for him. Bring in a young shooter. I agree a shooter at SG is best, plays D too. This is a young team. Another yr or two will give them better perspective. But I would move Holiday next yr. Or even at draft for right deal. There are 3 n D wings in draft.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Kuzma makes himself obsolete. Poor defender who can’t shoot 3’s.

  2. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Things don’t look good for Doncic in his first playoff appearance.

    His team might manage to win a game against the Clippers, if they’re lucky.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Doncic literally just dropped his best ever stat line 39 points 19 assists and 14 rebounds beating the best team in the NBA the Bucks.

      2 games before that he dropped 34 points, 12 assists and a career high 20 rebounds in another win against the Kings.

      The kid has been absolutely killing it.
      I wouldn’t count him out against any team.

      • jump shot

        If his teammates could shoot he coulda had 39, 25 assists, and 14. Thats insane.
        If his teammates could shoot the Mavs would be a threat in the playoffs.
        There’s no way in hell the Mavs can beat the Clippers (or pretty much any other playoff team) in a series because of that poor shooting, despite what Luka does. The way he plays and the way the Mavs play, you almost gotta have Curry and Klay (or me) sitting on the wings waiting for passes.
        But damn, that Luka is something else!

        • KnickerbockerAl

          See how KP disappears in end. To he’s a small ball center. Mavs using him Like he was Dirk. He gets pushed around by guys 6 inches smaller. Especially thick guys. With his legs and lenght. He has no inside gm. You can plan for him. Best weapon is his outside shot. But you can contest it. I don’t see star.

  3. nentwigs

    Ingram was amazed at what he saw when he got to


    He NEVER saw one in LA.

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