Despite reports prior to Friday, that Luke would keep the small forward position a competition. It appears that Luke Walton will start Loul Deng at the 3 instead of Ingram, at least for the beginning of the season. Regardless of the praises Walton has issued regarding the 6’9(possibly 10 by now) forward out of Duke. Walton stated to the Southern California News Group that the grueling 82 game season will be tough on the Rookie.
“we’re not going to throw him into the starting lineup right away, you develop the young core by rewarding them when they play well. If there’s 10 games left in the season and out of the playoffs and there’s some vets that played long minutes all season, maybe you play all your young guys to finish out the season. But when you’re going through the season, you’re not doing anyone any favors just by playing young guys so they can play if they’re not out there playing the right way.”
If this sounds familiar, then you wouldn’t be wrong. Byron Scott said the same things last year, however as we all came to know about Scott. He said one thing, but did another.
We all wanted D’Angelo to start so why not Ingram?
I’m sure at this point Laker fans (especially Byron Scott fans) are screaming “everyone wanted D’Angelo and Julius to start, and Byron refused. So why is this situation any different?” To start with Byron Scott did start D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. He then brought them both to the bench when it looked like they were starting to figure things out. D’Angelo was replaced by a spot up shooting guard in Lou Williams. Julius replaced by a rookie, who was older than him however still a rookie, in Larry Nance Jr. The most frustrating part about all that was the fact that when they started to really show improvement. Byron found ways to bring them both down, and subsequently punish them for good play.
Another frustrating part about Byron’s “developing tactics”. There really was no other point guard outside of Marcelo Huertas that could’ve been the primary leader down the court. D’Angelo Russell was the only true point guard we had and he was replaced by a shoot first guard. Lou was a great catch and shoot player. Running the offense was not his specialty.
Loul Deng is a solid starter for this team
Bringing me to my next difference between the situations. Loul Deng may be on the older side, but he is still a solid player. He can still defend at a high rate and still has the ability to knock down shots when he needs to. Starting Deng will allow Brandon Ingram to develop and yet the offense won’t suffer. Not to say Lou Williams isn’t a good player. He just isn’t a floor general. Then again most of last season was “give the ball to Kobe Bryant and open the lane”.
Regardless of the comparisons it’s a smart decision to allow Brandon Ingram to come off the bench. He will still get plenty of minutes. As Luke stated above if Ingram starts to play well and show he is worthy of it. We may see him in the starting lineup by mid to late season. In the meantime, let’s just enjoy as he cooks the opposing teams bench.
Brandon Ingram speaks to Colin Cowherd
On Monday Brandon Ingram joined Colin Cowherd on his daily morning show. Among other things they discussed the subject of him coming off the bench. Ingram explained that one of the main reasons he chose Duke over other universities was the fact the coach Mike Krzyzewski told Brandon that it wasn’t a gurantee that he would start his freshman year. He tells Colin that he used this as motivation to show his coach that he will earn a starting spot. Ingram stated that he would take the same approach to this season as he did with that. Ingram wants to work hard, and show coach Walton that he deserves that spot. The full interview can be seen here:
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