Matched up against one of the league’s most freakishly long defenders, Brandon Ingram smoothly drove to the baseline, letting his own length strides open up separation.
When a help defender rotated over as Ingram approached the rim, the 19-year-old simply shot up and used his 7-foot-4 wingspan to put the ball high out of reach as he slammed on top of both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon.
Ingram has consistently flashed this kind of offensive prowess this month. After opening March by going scoreless against Boston, he has now scored double figures in seven straight games.
“I think it’s more just an overall confidence that he’s gaining from playing night after night after night,” head coach Luke Walton said at Saturday’s practice.
Walton claims that Ingram has learned from his variety of experiences as a rookie — from playing point guard and small forward to starting and coming off the bench.
Lately, it has all started to come together, as he is averaging 12.3 points on 50.6 percent shooting this month, after entering it putting up just 8.2 points on a 37.1 percent mark.
Interestingly, this growth hasn’t stemmed from an improved 3-point shot, as he has gone just 6-of-22 from deep in March.
Instead, he has shown considerable maturation at attacking the hoop and firing a confident mid-range jumper.
This month, he’s hit 21-of-30 around the rim (70.0 precent) — which is well above league average. His 8-of-13 mark from mid-range is also a welcome sign.
For Walton, this is made that much better by how Ingram — who is averaging a rookie-high 29.0 minutes played — is peaking after putting in so much time on the court.
“I would’ve assumed he would have hit a rookie wall with how much he’s playing,” Walton said. “There have been a couple games he’s looked like he didn’t have anything. … But he’s done an incredible job of coming back.”
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