Ingram, who was drafted second by the Lakers in 2016, will have an expanded role with the team in their game against the Kings on Thursday. His numbers have slightly regressed from last season with the new free-agent additions on the club, but the absence of James could give him a chance to show his improvements from the offseason.
“It’s an opportunity,” Ingram said after a team shootaround Thursday, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and play my game a little bit more. I think I’m going to be a little bit more ball-dominant, cutting off the basketball. I have to play even better defense and be on the help side on the defensive end. So it’s a chance for me to just up my game a little bit.”
Along with James, point guard Rajon Rondo will be sidelined as he rehabs from a sprained finger earlier in the week. The Lakers open the first half of a back-to-back set on Thursday in Sacramento, then host the Clippers in an L.A. showdown on Friday.
There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:
- Warriors star Draymond Green discussed his shooting slump after the team blew a home loss to the Lakers on Christmas Day, acknowledging that he hasn’t been himself this season. “I ain’t really been doing me,” Green said as part of a larger statement, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “I ain’t been playmaking like I can, I ain’t been scoring when I got the opportunity, I ain’t been rebounding like I can, I ain’t been defending, I just haven’t been myself.”
- The Clippers plan to give an extensive look to two-way player Johnathan Motley, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. The team called Motley up from the G League on Wednesday and plans to activate him in the near future, according to Swanson. “I like Mot,” coach Doc Rivers said, “What we don’t know is if defensively he can play the five spot, but I do like him at that spot. I don’t like him as a four that much. Really like him at the five.”
- The Heat Index at Azcentral.com browsed through different mock drafts for the Suns next June, examining various prospects the team could target for the 2019 event. Players such as Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Kevin Porter Jr. could be available for the Suns, who currently hold the league’s second-worst record at 9-26.