It has become ingrained in Brandon Ingram’s mind not to expect to spend his rookie season in the starting lineup immediately. But sometimes external circumstances will thrust him in that position and test his readiness.
The Lakers’ second preseason game might mark one of those moments. The Lakers (1-0) have listed veteran forward Luol Deng as doubtful for Friday’s exhibition against the Denver Nuggets (1-0) at Staples Center because of a bruised left knee. He collided with Lakers forward Anthony Brown during Thursday’s practice. Although the Lakers had not yet diagnosed him then, Leng admitted feeling pain in his left knee after practice before downplaying the severity of it.
Ingram showed a mix of good and bad in his preseason debut in the Lakers’ win against Sacramento on Tuesday at Honda Center. He only scored two points and missed all five of his shots in 27 minutes off the bench. But Ingram also added two rebounds, two blocks and one steal. Deng had eight points on a 3-of-7 clip in 16 minutes as a starter.
Subsequently, Deng’s possible absence could open up more playing time for Brown and Nick Young, who had a healthy scratch in the preseason opener.