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Brandon Ingram is becoming exactly what the Lakers need

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Brandon Ingram may have come along slower than some people expected or hoped for but he’s blossoming into exactly what the Los Angeles Lakers need him to be.

Second-year forward Brandon Ingram is becoming a consistent player for the Lakers. He got off to a slow start–albeit an atrocious start to a fan’s standards–this preseason, and even a couple of games into the regular season.

However, in Ingram’s last five games he’s turned a corner and it doesn’t look like he turning back. L.A. and it’s fans are finally seeing the Ingram they saw in the one Summer League game where he dominated and looked way too good to be playing in–a performance that had Magic Johnson pulling the plug on Ingram at the slightest hint of an ailment.

But after that Summer League game, Ingram’s play was inconsistent and subpar to say the least. All of the potential he displayed in that one Summer League game seemed to have fizzled.

The truth was something different though. Ingram had put in way too much work in the offseason for it to amount to nothing. Luke Walton and his coaching staff praised Ingram’s work ethic and performance in practice, and they never wavered in their confidence in him. They saw what some fans, like Richard Sherman, didn’t see.

The young forward was trying to do too much. He was trying so hard to prove himself that he wasn’t playing within the flow of the game. No matter who you are if you’re too anxious and don’t let the game come to you, you won’t be successful.

Over the last several games Ingram has found his rhythm. He’s doing the exact opposite of what he was doing in the preseason and in the first few games of the regular season.

He’s still playing aggressively and forcing his will but he’s doing so while remaining calm, balanced and as the game comes to him.

With each game Ingram’s confidence is noticeably higher, and as he begins to meet the expectations of an entire fan base the pressure lightens and allows him to show his improvement.

In the Lakers’ last win at home against the Memphis Grizzlies Ingram put on a show scoring 18 first-half points on basically the same play–old school iso ball where he beat his defender on a first step and drove to the basket for a bucket, or better, an and-one.

Over the last five games, Ingram is averaging 16.2 ppg on 50 percent shooting, including 57 percent from three, to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

He’s proving to be exactly the player L.A. needs him to be; he just needed time to adjust.

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