(Photo By: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
3 Things to Know: Lakers at Clippers (4/11/18)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ season finale against the LA Clippers.
1) It’s Andre’s World
The NBA is still buzzing from last night’s straight-out-of-a-script debut of Andre Ingram — the 32-year-old G League veteran who finally got his chance to play at the elite level.
Ingram had put in his time, playing 10 years in the G League before getting this opportunity, but coach Luke Walton promised that the call-up was just as much a benefit to the Lakers as it was to Ingram.
Ingram certainly proved his coach right by scoring 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting with three blocks.
STAPLES Center broke out into MVP chants for Ingram during a couple trips to the free throw line, as he dazzled the NBA world with his quick-draw release that led to four 3-pointers.
2) All hands are needed on deck
Ingram will certainly get his minutes considering how injuries have depleted the Lakers’ roster.
Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Isaiah Thomas are all expected to miss this game. Toss in the fact that the Lakers are ending the season on a back-to-back, and it looks like the entire remaining roster could play tonight.
In addition to Andre Ingram, the Lakers will likely lean on the services of Julius Randle and Josh Hart.
Randle is on the cusp of playing all 82 games this season — a feat made even more impressive when remembering that his rookie year lasted just 14 minutes because of a broken leg. He is also likely to end the campaign as the Lakers’ scoring leader.
Meanwhile, Hart has been on a tear to end the season. The rookie has scored 20-plus points in three straight games, while shooting a robust 51.1 percent from the field (24-of-47).
Hart has been particularly effective in transition, scoring a whopping 18 fast-break points last night. For context, league leader Russell Westbrook averages “just” 5.5 fast-break points per game.
3) One more L.A. battle to end the season
The year ends where it began: a matchup with the Clippers.
The Lakers’ intracity foe is slumping to the finish line, having lost 10 of its last 15 games while falling out of the playoff picture.
During this time, the Clippers’ defense has cratered, giving up the NBA’s second-most points (112.6) on its second-highest percentage (48.1).
On the other end of the floor, the Clippers have remained about league average thanks to the sizzling play of Lou Williams, who ranks 14th in the NBA in scoring (22.6).
Williams is considered questionable for this game, and his availability will significantly affect how both teams plan their attack.
Lakers: Lonzo Ball (left knee contusion) and Kyle Kuzma (sprained left ankle) are questionable. Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol), Isaiah Thomas (sore right hip) and Luol Deng (sprained left ankle) are out.
Clippers: Lou Williams (sprained right ankle) and Austin Rivers (right elbow soreness) are questionable. Danilo Gallinari (sore right hand), Avery Bradley (athletic pubalgia surgery), Milos Teodosic (left plantar fascia tear), Patrick Beverley (right knee surgery) and Jawun Evans (athletic pubalgia surgery) are out.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Black City
Location: STAPLES Center — Los Angeles, California