I guess the Lakers can’t beat a fully loaded team more than once, right? Sadly, on the day it was announced that D’Angelo Russell would be out for 2-3 weeks, and that Julius would miss the game with a hip problem, the Lakers had to play the Warriors, who they have already beaten once. In fact, the Lakers are one of only two teams so far this season who have beaten the Warriors, with the Spurs being the other team.
To say that the Warriors came out fired up would be a massive understatement, as it was pretty embarrassing for their former assistant coach to lead a bunch of unproven players to a win earlier this year. This game was at Oracle and there was no emotional game before this one to be used as an excuse for a poor performance. Klay had been starting to get going with some good performances. Also, Steph and KD are now playing as phenomenally as expected.
Everything was lined up for a Warriors blow out and that is exactly what happened. Yet, there was still a feeling that the lakers would hang around and keep it competitive. The Lakers certainly tried, but when the Warriors are playing with some rest and a clear head, you are not going to beat them any day of the week.
Since the Lakers were shorthanded, they had to trot out a different line-up of Calderon-Young-Ingram-Deng-Mozgov. Ingram got his first official start of his career and Deng got the nod to play his best position which is PF. Calderon also got the start and played solid again, filling in for Russell.
It was Ingram who stood out as the only bright spot from this game. His play was much better than anyone expected and his trend continues to point up not only on defense, but on offense as well. He showed confidence on offense which was non existent through most of beginning of the season. Ingram also seemed more comfortable and adjusted to the pace and strength of the NBA which could mean that he might come along faster than was originally thought.
He had a rough start, but as the game carried on, he started to become more comfortable scoring the ball. We even had the pleasure of seeing a couple of Ingram’s signature isolations in the post. These are things that he had much success with in college and that should translate sooner rather than later. Ingram had a great game as far as a rookie starting in his first game against one of the best teams ever assembled on paper.
Ingram is really good at running pick and rolls. Here, Moz sets a sorta screen to get Draymond off of Ingram. He then forces the issue and attempts to pass it over the hands of Zaza. He actually could have squeezed a wrap around pass to Moz if he really wanted to, but instead Ingram panicked a bit and made a rushed pass.
Ingram really did look rattled to begin the game. His handle wasn’t as tight as it had been before and that caused some early turnovers to happen. Draymond Green has great defensive hands and here he simply rips the ball away from Ingram for an easy steal. After this, Luke took him out of the game and pulled him aside to let him regain focus and shake off any first mistakes.
To get himself going and create some easy offense for the team, Ingram actually made an aggressive play and posted up Iggy. He then did that smooth right shoulder turn and rose up for a jump shot. It is a pretty unstoppable move if nobody helps and it stays an isolation. He just rises over one of the best defenders in the league and drains mid range shot. These are the shots that he will be making many, many times as his career progresses. Better get used to it.
Ingram’s length is really game changing on defense. It allows him to generate steals or blocks, not to mention all of the shots that he will bother like the play above. Livingston never misses a pull up jumper. He uses his height to rise over most players. That doesn’t work against Ingram who can react late and still get there to bother the shot just enough. This is insane for a rookie.
Here Ingram does a really nice job of turning the corner and simply flies by Zaza to get to the rim. He meets Draymond Green and that forces Ingram to pull the lay up back and shoot it high off the glass. Pure toughness from Ingram who adjusted nicely.
Here, Swaggy misses a three and KD closes out and starts running in the other direction. Ingram smartly moves to straight to the three point line. The confidence to pull the trigger was there and the rotation on the ball looked much better. Slowly and steady, Ingram is piecing together flashes to his prime college days when he was a lights out shooter. Keep on shooting Brandon.
Ingram is still a rookie and rookies make mistakes. Deng looks like he is falling asleep on defense. Ingram gambles and thinks that the ball is going to Draymond. Deng was supposed to slide over, but he didn’t so KD got an easy dunk. Ingram should have told Deng to switch their men. These are little errors that he can learn from.
Ball movement has improved a lot this year as players are making the extra pass or passes in order to create easier looks. Lou could have taken the shot, but Ingram was alone in the corner. Noting that he just made a three, he swings it and Ingram drains it. His shot was looking so much better and it had many fans saying its about time. Ingram might get loose pretty soon.
Ingram the playmaker wants to say hello. Another pick and roll with Moz was successful as he split the action and flipped a nifty pass to Jordan Clarkson who missed the shot badly. This should have been an assist as Ingram set him up beautifully. Just let Ingram start at point guard while D’Angelo recovers.
Ingram’s length also causes problems for defenders and it’s not just the fact that he can shoot over almost anyone. He did a really good job of drawing a foul. He has a really effective shot fake and his long arms are easy to hit. He may not be that strong yet, but he finds ways around it.
The previous easy looks that he made had a huge effect on this shot going down. Here, he shoots a tough shot with Livingston draped all over him. He simply pulls and drains it. It is just incredibly pleasing to see Ingram hit mid range shots.
When Ingram’s shot is falling, his whole game expands. I was disappointed to see that they didn’t go to him as much as they should have since he was the only player that was constantly creating offense when he got the ball. He just shot it right over Ian Clark off of the triple threat pivot. This is just a preview of how effective he can be. Brandon Ingram is the real deal. He may not win Rookie of the Year, but his potential is shinning brighter and brighter. That’s all you can ask from a nineteen-year-old. Yeah, he’s still only nineteen.