When Luke Walton was introduced as the new head coach for the Lakers, it was hard to imagine the team’s current lineup adapting to a game style specifically designed for the Golden State Warriors. Now that the addition of Brandon Ingram from Duke is finally official, it paves for a much clearer vision of what the future holds for the team.
Luke Walton had no qualms in saying he wants to rebuild the Lakers on a basketball philosophy he shares with Steve Kerr. The Lakers will be playing at a faster pace, focus on ball distribution, and invest more on three-point shooting.
It’s not an easy feat for the worst three-point-shooting team last season.
Brandon comes in with 41% shooting from behind the arch and 46% on two pointers. He can play a good inside game or move back and shoot from long-range where it is difficult to defend himself because of his height (6’9) and long reach.
The Lakers will be looking for a stable veteran that can shoot well from the outside, from among free agents to be added to an interesting young team with Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
The transitioning of the Lakers according to Walton’s goals won’t be easy but Brandon says, “I know they’re in a rebuilding stage. I know they have a lot of young guys that are self-driven and very talented. I just know that I’m going to have to work very hard.”
Defensively, Luke Walton compares Brandon to Draymond Green, and attributes his defensive style as highly instinctive, which is a manifestation to his level of intelligence. The only downside at the moment is his physique, for being too skinny, and that he might wilt against stronger and bigger competition. But that is something Brandon is not worried about.
The work ethic is there. So far, he has proven that his build is not a liability on the defensive end, and it even inspired comparisons to Kevin Durant. He has also gained an extra 30 pounds in the last year. He looks forward to putting on more muscle.
Of his many abilities on the basketball court, when asked what he could give to the team, Brandon didn’t blink an eye in saying that he wants to bring leadership first.
This drew praises from the crowd.
Luke Walton said, “You need leadership, you need cohesiveness, you need energy, and everything I’ve heard about this kid, he brings all those to the table along with his skill set.”
Photo courtesy: Lakers logo/ Wikimedia commons