LAS VEGAS - Day two of USA Basketball camp in Las Vegas offered a slightly more comfortable approach for the participants. The coaches and players for both Team USA and the USA Select Team had gone through the motions of practicing separately before meeting up for scrimmaging on Monday.
So, Tuesday already felt a bit familiar to all involved.
First, day No. 2 offered more of the same in terms of D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle playing together. Both players featured in one of the second units of the select team. Brandon Ingram also joined his fellow Lakers on the same second unit bench, t hough the rookie played slightly less than his older teammates on Tuesday.
Day No. 2, though, offered a peek at Ingram matching up against Kevin Durant: the player that has been compared to Ingram ad nauseum. After Tuesday's practice, Durant offered a rather robust response to the comparison.
According to Serena Winters of LakersNation.com, Durant said about Ingram, "[He's the] first person, I can say, that I can look at him and feel like I'm looking in the mirror."
Ingram is long, skinny and a good shooter, and his defense consistently earns praise. Durant is 27. Ingram is 18. The hope is that Ingram turns into Durant in nine years' time, so they are not the same player.
"I got to see how he moved a little bit, got a little feel for him," Ingram revisited his matchup against Durant after Tuesday's practice and said he enjoyed the "battle".
"I look back and not saying he's Kevin Durant, but Kevin Durant at 17 was on a select team," USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski didn't shy away from the comparisons between Durant and Ingram, who Krzyzewski coached at Duke University.
"I like compliments, but of course, if you settle right now and not be the player that you're supposed to be, it's going to get real ugly," Ingram shared his mature, long-term view when hearing about some of Krzyzewski's compliments.
"He's going to be really good," the Duke coach had said about Ingram, with an all-knowing smile pasted across his face.
The 18-year-old Ingram had barely joined the Lakers before shipping out to NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Before he could blink, Ingram joined up with Team USA in the same city. For Ingram, the "pinch me" moment of playing in the NBA had arrived somewhere in Las Vegas, but he'd been too busy battling to pause and acknowledge it.
Speaking of battles, Ingram and teammate Russell found time to play a friendly game of one-on-one after practice. On Day no. 2, the no. 2 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft and the no. 2 pick of the 2016 NBA Draft went back and forth, as the deuces were wild. NBCLA.com caught a bit of the action (video above), and the grainy footage shows how the lengthy Ingram can shoot over defenders with ease.
After the duo wrapped up their friendly game of one-on-one, Ingram and Russell worked on a three-point shooting contest that featured shooting from well beyond the three-point line.
"I won," Ingram told NBCLA.com after the contest. "Three to two."