As LeBron James and Lonzo Ball have handled most of the ballhandling duties, the strength of their depth was tested against the Washington Wizards. With JaVale McGee a late-game scratch, Moritz Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk played well considering the circumstances.
With the Lakers preparing for the Brooklyn Nets to conclude the road trip, it appears help is on the way and just in time.
Prior to the 128-110 loss to the Wizards, Walton was hopeful Ingram and Rondo will return against the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers:
Walton added that he’s hopeful to get Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo back on Friday vs. New Orleans, but we’ll see when the team returns from this trip.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 16, 2018
After suffering a broken hand against the Portland Trail Blazers, Rondo has missed the last 16 games. Outside of needing to get his hand drained due to swelling, Rondo has made progress and was assigned to the South Bay Lakers for a rehab assignment.
As for Ingram, he suffered a sprained ankle against the San Antonio Spurs and has missed the last six games. The 21-year-old was recently reevaluated and is considered day-to-day.
At 18-12 and fourth in the Western Conference, the Lakers have exceeded expectations so far despite all of the injuries and two suspensions. With Ingram and Rondo returning soon, the Lakers will look to establish themselves as legitimate championship contenders in Year 1 with James.