Brandon Ingram will not travel with the Los Angeles Lakers on their upcoming road trip starting Friday in San Antonio, the team announced on Thursday. Ingram is scheduled for a precautionary MRI Thursday evening.
UPDATE: Ingram’s MRI confirmed he suffered a sprained ankle and he will be re-evaluated in a week, according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet.
This marks the first time this season Ingram will miss games due to injury. Ingram missed four games earlier this season but as a result of him giving out “that Ingram special” against the Houston Rockets in October.
Through 20 games this season, Ingram is averaging 15.2 points per game on 47 percent from the field to go along with 4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Ingram has digressed in nearly every statistical category except 2-point field goal percentage (49.3 percent, career-high).
However, while Ingram hasn’t been a perfect player, he’s still been productive for the Lakers, especially on the defensive end.
This season, Ingram has posted the second-highest defensive rating of any player on the Lakers to appear in at least 20 games this season (103.9), trailing only Josh Hart (101.2). It’s going to be hard for anyone to replicate the length and mobility that he offers on the wing, but head coach Luke Walton will have to manage.
Following the game on Wednesday, Walton said he plans to fill the void left by Ingram by staggering Lonzo Ball and LeBron James to make sure there’s at least on reliable playmaker on the court at all times.
“We’re gonna have to start splitting LeBron and Zo a little more,” Walton said. “Get one of them out a little earlier than we’d like. We’re gonna try and have LeBron or Zo on the court most of the game.”
While that’s certainly the right direction to go, he’ll still have to fill the minutes left by Ingram on the wing. Lance Stephenson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be expected to step up for the Lakers, but as they’ve shown this season, their production comes and goes.
Other candidates for playing time on the wing include rookies Svi Mykhailiuk and Isaac Bonga, who was called up by the Lakers on Thursday.
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