The Los Angeles Lakers will be without PG and leading scorer, D’Angelo Russell for up to two weeks. As big as a blow that is for a team that has been a surprise so far this season, there is a silver lining.
It’s time for Brandon Ingram to step up.
So far this season the rookie has resembled, well, a rookie. I want him to perform due to him being my selection as ROY. But the Lakers need him to step up for various reasons.
Despite their youth the Lakers are still in the playoff hunt, and as the season progresses they will only get better as more games means more chances to jell as a unit.
Another silver lining for the Lakers in all of this is the two-week window. During that time frame they will take on 5 teams currently in the playoff hunt. If they can manage to win 5 of those 9 games they will not lose any ground in the standings.
Lou Williams has been superb, and the same can be said for Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young. What this injury means is more time on the floor for all players mentioned above.
Luke Walton has gone with a 12 man rotation with 9 players seeing 20+ minutes nightly. Russell’s injury may move someone in his minutes slot but it could give Walton the excuse needed to trim the distribution of minutes to his more productive players.
This is where Ingram will get his chance to shine. Ingram is averaging 23 minutes and 7 points per game, now he should see an increase of at least 8 extra minutes of floor time to ease the load of his teammates.
Julius Randle will be pushed more into the leadership role and if his success to start this season is any indication, then he will explode for 20+ until Russell’s return.
All is not lost in Lakerland. The team will band together and continue this impressive ride they are on.