Southwest Notes: Ingram, Thompson, Lively, Jackson Jr.

Brandon Ingram‘s outing against the Lakers in Tuesday’s play-in loss was just his second since returning from a bone bruise that forced him to miss 12 games. Ingram was pulled from that loss with 7:38 to go in the fourth quarter and didn’t return, finishing with 25 minutes of game time.

I just liked the group that was on the floor at the time,” head coach Willie Green said. “B.I. is still getting back. Still getting his rhythm. So I didn’t want to force the issue. I liked the group that was going.

However, as’s Christian Clark observes, the Pelicans are going to need to rely on Ingram more in Friday’s play-in outing against the Kings. Zion Williamson, who scored 40 points in the loss, was ruled out with a hamstring injury he suffered near the end of Tuesday’s game.

The Pelicans saw most of their success on Tuesday with a bench-heavy lineup centered around Williamson. Meanwhile, Ingram finished with 12 points while CJ McCollum had just nine. As Clark writes, if Williamson didn’t get hurt, Green may have finished the game without either Ingram or McCollum on the floor. The Pelicans were outscored by 3.2 points per 100 possessions with Williamson, Ingram and McCollum sharing the floor this season.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Magic have previously been mentioned as a potential suitor for unrestricted free agent Klay Thompson. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Mavericks are another team worth monitoring as a landing spot for Warriors‘ the five-time All-Star. Thompson had his worst shooting night of the season in the play-in against the Kings, missing all 10 of his shots. However, as Amick writes, he’d been playing better toward the end of the season, averaging 21.8 points on 41.6% shooting from deep in the 10 games after getting his starting job back.
  • Dereck Lively II‘s status for Game 1 against the Clippers on Sunday is still in the air, but he went through practice on Tuesday and appeared to be moving well,’s Eddie Sefko reports. Lively, who has been out since March 31 after averaging 8.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in his rookie season, pairs with Daniel Gafford to provide a one-two punch for the Mavericks at the center position.
  • The Grizzlies are looking to add more size to their rotation next season after shipping Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman out in separate deals this season. However, as Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace writes, they’re not yet committed to playing Jaren Jackson Jr. to strictly one position. “I like seeing Jaren out there at [power forward] more, with another big man, and then me coming off the bench,” teammate Brandon Clarke said. “That was kind of how it was the past four years. But we just really got to get healthy first. And we’re going to get a good pick in the draft. So, I trust the front office with what they choose. But sounds like we need somebody big and somebody strong down there for us.
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