The Sleepy Assassin - Brandon Ingram is here.
The Sleepy Assassin, B.I., Sleepy B, whatever you want to call him, Brandon Ingram is finding his game. The second year 6'9 small forward from Duke was much hyped coming out of college and was picked 2nd overall after Philadelphia's Ben Simmons. Simmons missed his first season so there wasn't much to talk about, no complaints to be made aside from him being injured. All of the poking, prodding and dissecting that the top draft pick always receives fell to the next in line, Brandon Ingram. After his first season some fans were even calling him a bust. I know my opinion wasn't as high as he often looks on the court but anyone could see that after filling out a little more and learning the NBA game his length would eventually be a problem.
I remember watching their first game of the 2017/18 season against the Clippers and thinking "damn, this kid still hasn't figured it out", obviously that was the first game of the season and prime time for knee jerk reactions. The truth is the season is still young, we've only seen a quarter of his second year in the league and he's beginning to show us what he can be. I was fortunate enough to be at Staples Center for their game against the warriors, a game I assumed would be a blowout in favor of Golden State. Instead we witnessed an overtime thriller where Brandon Ingram scored a career high 32 points and scored the Lakers first 9 of the game. Despite the Warriors solid defense, Ingram was able to twist and squeeze his way to the hoop while closely contested, this is where is length comes in. Ingram is able to keep his arms up, create space with his elbows and make defenders jump before him, when they do his length allows him that extra step that earns him a flush or a tight layup. His amazing wingspan allows him to do stuff like this:
This dunk was just one part of another impressive 21 point, 7 rebound and 6 assist night where Ingram would eventually sink a game winning three with eight tenths of a second left on the clock showing that he can be the man in Los Angeles.
The league is taking notice as Sixers coach Brett Brown compared him to a young Kevin Durant and Durant himself even said looking at him was like looking in a mirror. In my opinion we need to pump the breaks on the KD comparisons, sure he's thin and long but KD is KD and to put those expectations on this kid already might be a bit much. For now lets all sit back and watch this guy grow, he has a long way to go and so far he's only getting better.