The Los Angeles Lakers have a host of talented defenders on their roster this year, but Rajon Rondo has been most surprised by the defensive prowess of Brandon Ingram.
Ingram was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Lakers offensively last season. Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randall all averaged 16.1 points per game last season, which lead the team. While he does have tremendous upside as a scorer, people underestimate his defense from afar.
From Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“He’s a lot better defensive player than I thought,” Rondo said of the young player entering his third season. “You don’t think much of him as a defensive player, at least I didn’t, but for this team in particular it’s big for us. He should lead us in steals, deflections, blocks. He can do it all. Switch 1 through 5. I’m very impressed by the way he plays defensively. He’s only getting stronger.”
“He’s 21 years old, so like I said he’s definitely one of, should be one of the next best defensive players we have in our league.”
Ingram is a lanky 6-foot-9. When he entered the league, many referred to him as a slim Kevin Durant — if that makes sense. He’s a shade under 200 lbs, but he has wiry strength. Now, he’s receiving plenty of praise from one of the best defensive guards in the league.
Even though Rondo is only 6-foot-1, his long arms, massive hands, and basketball IQ make him an exceptional defender. Rondo knows how to orchestrate a defense. If he doesn’t get a steal himself, he’s making a key deflection or getting his teammates in the right spot.
Brandon Ingram’s versatility as a defender will receiver more attention this season. All eyes will be on the Lakers to see how they perform in this transformative year.