Los Angeles Lakers third-year forward Brandon Ingram is set to make his return to the court on Monday night after completing a four-suspension for his involvement in the altercation that featured Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul and his teammate Rajon Rondo.
Prior to his first game back against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ingram voiced on Monday morning that he isn’t coming off the bench, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
Brandon Ingram after serving four-game suspension: "I'm not coming off the bench. I don't know the lineup, but I know I'll be in it."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) October 29, 2018
These comments from Ingram may be a bit construed, but it is likely that Ingram could have been informed already that he will be in the starting lineup. He had been in that role prior to being handed the suspension for the fight during the game against the Rockets. This may be a move to see if reinserting Ingram into the starting lineup will help keep them flowing in the right direction.
In his absence, second-year forward Kyle Kuzma has been playing quite well as he has poured in double-digit outings in each of the last four games including a pair of 20-point outings. This was highlighted by 37 points against the San Antonio Spurs in the overtime 143-142 loss at home. Kuzma has shown that he is a capable scorer and his movement off the ball has opened up more opportunities for his teammates to find him for high-percentage looks.
Despite the return of Ingram, Kuzma is set to remain in the starting lineup for Monday’s game playing power forward with LeBron James at small forward while Ingram will replace Josh Hart at shooting guard, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
The Lakers will start Ball, Ingram, LeBron, Kuzma and McGee. First time we’ve seen this group. Will be interesting to have Kuzma’s shooting at the 4 around LeBron and Ingram’s length on defense at the 2.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 29, 2018
This is an intriguing offensive lineup where Kuzma will remain one of the primary offensive contributors on the floor. Things could change if head coach Luke Walton feels that another type of lineup would work best for the team on the floor to get the most out of their talent.
Bob Garcia IV
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