The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, falling 124-120 to close out the road trip. However, they welcomed back Brandon Ingram from his four-game suspension.
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Head coach Luke Walton immediately put him in the starting lineup, but in a bit of an unconventional manner. Rather than bump Kyle Kuzma back to the bench, Ingram started alongside him and with Lonzo Ball, LeBron James and JaVale McGee.
The move was intriguing, considering many believed the starting lineup would either include Ingram or Kuzma, not both. The grouping seemed to be somewhat successful, until Ingram found himself in continuous foul trouble, leading to just 25 minutes on the night.
Walton spoke about how he thought Ingram looked in the starting lineup at shooting guard and generally had a positive critique, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He obviously started really good. He was ready to get after it. Hit shots, got to the rim, pushed it out for us. But the early foul trouble kind of messed up that rotation. The start of it looked good, but it’s a small sample size.”
Despite that, Walton stuck to his usual routine of not committing to a single starting lineup quite yet:
“We’ll watch the film and see all what happened. That’s something we won’t decide right now.”
Despite the limited time on the court, Ingram had 24 points and 5 rebounds. Kuzma got off to a hot start, though did cool and finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds. His offensive production was somewhat of a letdown considering he scored 11 points in the first quarter.
The Lakers so far this season have seen plenty of shuffling with their starting lineup. Suspensions of Rajon Rondo and Ingram didn’t help, but through seven games the Lakers have already used four starting lineups.
It’s still early on, but hopefully Walton will be able to come up with a consistent rotation soon as the Lakers already find themselves 2-5 on the season.