A fight broke out during the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night and as a result both teams will be shorthanded for a few games. The Rockets lost Chris Paul for two games but the Lakers were hit a bit harder as they will be without starters Rajon Rondo for three games and Brandon Ingram for four.
On this episode of the LN News Feed we take a look at what might happen with head coach Luke Walton’s rotation now that two players the team has counted on are unavailable. With the Lakers losing their first three games of the season, they need to find a way to get in the win column despite being shorthanded.
Rondo, who has been the team’s starting point guard, will almost certainly be replaced by Lonzo Ball, who served as the team’s starter last season.
Most believed that Ball would once again be in the team’s starting five this season but his recovery from offseason surgery caused Rondo to get the nod instead. It’s possible that Ball takes over the role and never gives it back if he can prove that he has his form back.
After Ball, however, the Lakers may need to get creative at the reserve point guard spot. LeBron James can certainly handle setting up the offense and the team experimented with Lance Stephenson during preseason but they may have to call up Alex Caruso, who is on a two-way contract, in order to give the Lakers a true point guard off the bench.
Ingram’s replacement may be even more complicated. Stephenson would appear to the obvious choice but Kyle Kuzma could pick up some minutes in a pinch as well. Other options include Michael Beasley and Svi Mykhailiuk, or Walton could go small and use Josh Hart there as well.
Whatever path Walton takes it’s going to have to be the right one because the Lakers are badly in need of a win.