The Los Angeles Lakers locker room looked more like a hospital ward after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. With Lonzo Ball (sore left knee) already missing the game, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right Achilles tendon strain), Kyle Kuzma (left hand fifth metacarpal joint sprain) and Brandon Ingram (left ankle sprain) all ended up leaving the game with injuries.
Kuzma was optimistic he wouldn’t miss any time as of Wednesday night, and Caldwell-Pope was similarly hopeful.
Ingram had already missed a game with his ankle sprain before coming back against the Thunder, and Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Ingram probably could have returned to the game had the score been closer. Ball, meanwhile, was already considered unlikely to play Friday against the Indiana Pacers:
L.A. made that official, while also proving Caldwell-Pope’s optimism to be unfounded, declaring both out for Friday’s game. The team also put Ingram and Kuzma’s availability in doubt:
Lonzo Ball (sore left ankle) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right Achilles tendon strain) are OUT for Friday's matchup with Indiana.
Brandon Ingram (mild left ankle sprain) and Kyle Kuzma (left hand fifth MP joint sprain) are listed as questionable.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 18, 2018
With Ball out, Tyler Ennis will likely get another nod at starting point guard. The Lakers are 0-8 without Ball this season and have lost two straight since his injury worsened following an overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers have previously started Josh Hart in Caldwell-Pope’s place when he missed games due to a 25-day prison term for violating his probation, and it’s a trend that seems likely to continue Friday.
Ingram and/or Kuzma missing time would also probably lead to a further minutes increase for Hart while also necessitating more burn for veteran forward Corey Brewer and possibly Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. as well.
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