Lakers shake up lineup after Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram suspensions

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions EL SEGUNDO — It could have been worse.That was, at least, the mentality Brandon Ingram presented Monday morning, as he spoke to the media for the first time since the Saturday night fight between the Rockets and Lakers that briefly sparked chaos in Staples Center.When the dust settled, Chris Paul had a two-game suspension, Rajon Rondo had three, and Ingram had four. While Ingram’s and Rondo’s suspensions were to begin Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs, Ingram, at least, seemed relieved that he had avoided a bigger penalty from the NBA.“Well, it was better than we expected,” he said. “I’m happy it’s only four, but I know I got to control my emotions a little better.” CARUSO, BONGA TO G-LEAGUEThe Lakers put rookie wing Isaac Bonga on an assignment with the South Bay Lakers on Monday, a somewhat expected development for the 18-year-old from Germany. The team also moved Alex Caruso, who is on a two-way contract, down to the G-League affiliate.Jonathan Williams, who signed a two-way deal over the weekend, stayed put on the active roster. Walton said this was done with the Spurs in particular in mind, given their size.“We are going to keep Williams active in case we’re getting hurt on the boards and we need a versatile big to help the rebounding,” Walton said.Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Ingram was more publicly contrite, saying he was responsible for the start of the incident. But that did come with a caveat.“A hundred percent that I was wrong for my teammates,” he said. “But I also stepped up for my teammates and that is what I’m going 10 times out of 10.”LeBron James, also addressed when he pulled Paul, a close personal friend, from the scrum, which raised some eyebrows for observers. He didn’t appear to think it was meaningful.“All I cared about what trying to get the thing over with, so we could get back to the game,” he said. “That’s all that was on my mind, at the end of the day. Just trying to separate the whole altercation. Help the referees out.”With the suspension, neither Rondo or Ingram were permitted to be in the arena for the games. Walton called them both “professionals” and trusted that they would follow along.The suspensions put the Lakers, who are already struggling to adapt a working chemistry against more established Western Conference groups, in an awkward position after two losses to start the season. James, though, said he was keeping the faith.“We’re gonna have some rough patches. We’re gonna have some good patches,” he said. “And then at some point, it’s gonna click for us, when we know this is who we are and this is what we need to do to be great and put ourselves in the position to win every night.” “Everyone knows who I am, my team,” he said, “and I think they still respect me for what I do and what I bring to this team.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt might be a huge understatement for the Lakers, who soldier on without two of their regular starters for three games: against the Spurs, the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets. Ingram will miss another game in San Antonio before he can return next week.Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma started against the Spurs for Rondo and Ingram, respectively. The Lakers expected at least a one-game suspension for both, so the team practiced Sunday with Rondo’s and Ingram’s absences in mind even before the suspensions were announced.Neither participated much in shootaround, but Walton stressed that both were present and engaged.“You could see over there Brandon’s getting his work in, Rondo was in working early, he’s getting a lift in now,” Walton said. “So they’re still working, they just weren’t a big part of the shootaround. But they’re both out here being active and vocal.”There was little discussion with the media about what was said within team walls. The NBA very publicly disputed Rondo’s account that he didn’t spit on Paul in the fight, which was a factor in why his suspension was longer than Paul’s. Rondo didn’t offer a public rebuttal in a terse, minute-and-a-half Q-and-A with the media. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *