Brandon Ingram was shut down by Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of Summer League due to leg cramps but not before he proved he’s the Lakers’ new leader.
Although the Lakers dropped their Summer League opener 96-93 to the Los Angeles Clippers, Brandon Ingram shined as the best player on the floor from both teams. He was able to get to his spots and score at will in a variety of ways. His first bucket of the night came off of a lob dunk from Lonzo Ball giving everyone a glimpse into L.A.’s future.
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Ingram finished as the leading scorer of the game with 26 points and would have scored more had he played in overtime. Instead, Magic Johnson shut him down due to a leg injury scare. But the reason the Lakers were even in overtime was because of Ingram. He took over the game for L.A. in clutch time when they were down and tied the game on a crossover and drive to the basket. On the very next play Ingram stole the ball and prevented the Clippers from getting off a shot to seal the deal.
With Ingram on the bench in overtime the Lakers would eventually fall but that didn’t matter. L.A. got to see the growth and leadership they were looking for in Ingram. His teammates deferred to him when he was on the court and he answered the bell every time. When it was time to win he stepped up and made big time plays.
For now the Lakers are playing on the precautionary side with Ingram’s injury and they should. Ingram did his job proving his offseason work has paid off. When he was on the court he looked like a man among boys.
Ingram solidified his place as L.A.’s undeniable leader in just one game. Sitting him the rest of Summer League ensures he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to lead during the regular season. The Lakers have a long road ahead of them and they’re going to need their new leader to be in full force.