After being suspended for the first two games against the San Antonio Spurs, Brandon Ingram was getting off to a solid start in their third meeting.
Unfortunately, midway through the first quarter, Ingram made a mid-range jumper and landed on LaMarcus Aldridge’s foot. Aldridge was called for a flagrant foul and Ingram headed back to the locker room after making the free throw.
As Ingram was initially questionable to return, he was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Following the 121-113 win over the Spurs to cap off an undefeated four-game homestand, head coach Luke Walton revealed his plan if Ingram does miss some games.
“We’re going to have to start splitting LeBron and ‘Zo a little more,” Walton explained. “Get one of them out earlier than we’d like. Lance can run some point still. Svi ran some point with his national team, so he’s capable. We’re going to try to have LeBron or ‘Zo on the court most of the game.
With the Lakers winning 13 out of their last 17 games, they will likely have to make another major adjustment after already losing Rajon Rondo to injury. Though, Rondo may very well be on the verge of returning.
As Walton wants LeBron James or Lonzo Ball on the court at all times, this will not only help in the short-term but is something to consider long-term. Walton believes the Lakers began the process of learning how to adjust against the Spurs.
“Between the Josh Hart foul trouble and B.I. going out, we kind of scrambled a little bit. We hit some mid-game adversity and it affected us. It knocked us off our normal rhythm,” he said.
“I thought we did a really good job of bouncing back from that. Guys started to play and at halftime we had to regroup and pencil some different ideas out as far as when to get guys in and out and making sure we always had LeBron or ‘Zo for the most part on the floor.”
Since James is ball-dominant, having Ball play without him gives him opportunities to do what he does best. Against the Spurs, Ball had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists.
If Ingram ultimately misses extended time, Josh Hart could start, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Svi Mykhailiuk then seeing increased minutes.