On the final play of regulation of Friday’s overtime loss to the Clippers at the Las Vegas Summer League, Brandon Ingram elevated for a jumper over two defenders and had his shot carom off the rim. After the miss, he sat on the ground for an extended period, holding his leg with the trainers coming to check on him shortly after. It was not something Lakers fans wanted to see.
However, that fear was quickly erased after it was determined Ingram was only dealing with cramps. Post-game, he said he wanted to go back in, but President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson put the kibosh on that. Ingram sat and watched his team fall in OT. And now, he’ll sit for the remainder of the Lakers games in Vegas, too:
Brandon Ingram (leg cramping) will not play the remainder of Summer League.
He will likely remain with the team and continue to practice.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 8, 2017
I am perfectly good with this. Ingram looked exactly how I’d want a 2nd year lottery pick to look in Friday’s game. He scored 26 points on 9-17 shooting while hitting 7-8 from the foul line. He looked like the best player on the floor while showing off an evolving offensive arsenal reflective of the work he’s put in since the end of the regular season in April. I mean, check out this short clip from Draft Express’ Mike Schmitz:
Last night Brandon Ingram gave Lakers fans a preview of what they may see next season. Confident attacking, handling in PnR, playmaking. pic.twitter.com/dJWU85RdmH
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) July 8, 2017
Triple threat work, rip throughs, hesitation dribbles, finishes at the rim, post ups, turnaround jumpers, no look passes, isolations out of 1-4 sets. Ingram did it all on offense and then flashed good engagement and activity on defense too. As I wrote in my summer league preview, I wanted to see if Ingram could show us he was “too good for summer league” and on Friday night he gave us a that.
Now, having him sit out will have a ripple effect on this team. Lonzo Ball will have a tougher go of things without a primary scorer flanking him on the wing. In Friday’s game, Lonzo showed his proclivity to throw the ball ahead to his wings streaking up the floor, and it was Ingram who received most of those passes into space going up court. Ingram is also the team’s next best passer, so having him out may also impact some of Lonzo’s off-ball work. So, in the micro, this won’t be good for Lonzo or for the Lakers’ chances at winning games.
However, in the macro, this is the smart move. Ingram doesn’t need these games to prove anything. Yes, he had an up and down rookie year, but I’m a believer in his ability to develop and his performance on Friday reinforced that belief. So, get some rest Brandon and make sure you’re all healed up and ready to go come training camp.