Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans (33-35) will face the Los Angeles Lakers (33-35) in an attempt to break the three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference.
Given where both of these teams are in the standings, this game is critical, and the Pelicans will want to have as many available bodies as possible.
Despite being one of the most injury-plagued teams in the league, the team has been improving recently. Jonas Valanciunas, Josh Richardson, and, most recently, Larry Nance Jr. have all returned to the lineup in the last few games.
Despite this string of good news, the one question on everyone’s mind is the status of Brandon Ingram, who has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury suffered in the team’s win over the Dallas Mavericks.
According to the most recent reports, Ingram is questionable for tonight’s game, which usually means he has a 50/50 chance of playing, depending on how team shoot-around and warmups go.
Before leaving the game against the Mavericks in the second quarter, Ingram had been on a tear, averaging 28 PPG/4.9 RPG/4.7 APG on 50.2%/38.3%/84.9% FG/3PT/FT shooting splits over his last 13 games. Having that type of production back in your lineup is always a huge plus for your team, no matter how you slice it.
Aside from Ingram, the team will be without Zion Williamson (hamstring), Jose Alvarado (tibia), and E.J. Liddell (ankle) (knee). For those who are curious, this will be the team’s 33rd consecutive game without Williamson in the lineup.
The Lakers, the Pelicans’ opponent, will be without LeBron James (foot) and Mo Bamba once again (ankle). Anthony Davis (foot) is also listed as probable, which means he should be able to play tonight, especially given the importance of the game in terms of the team’s playoff/play-in chances.
The Pelicans and Lakers are tied for ninth place in the West (the Lakers currently hold the tiebreaker), but both are only 2.5 games out of the conference’s fifth seed.