LeBron James Will Play vs. Pelicans; Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo to Make Returns

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 22, 2018

BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 18:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  The Nets defeated the Lakers 115-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will have nearly everyone available for their Friday night home matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, per head coach Luke Walton:

James was previously listed as a game-time decision with his illness, while Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram have been out with a broken hand and sprained ankle, respectively. Rondo has been out for 17 games, while Ingram is making his return since suffering the ankle injury December 5.

The 18-13 Lakers have stayed afloat even with Rondo and Ingram out of the lineup, with the team currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference.

However, their re-additions to the rotation are certainly welcome.

Of note, the Lakers have gone just 3-4 since Ingram was sidelined. The third-year pro is third on the team with 15.2 points per game, and that production is hard for the team to replicate considering James, Kyle Kuzma and Ingram are primarily responsible for carrying the team's scoring burdens.

Ingram is also efficient thanks to 47.0 percent shooting, but his three-point shot has been off at just 32.4 percent. Still, he's coming off a 2017-18 season in which he hit 39.0 percent of his shots from downtown, so we could see him hitting some more outside jumpers soon.

Rondo's ball-handling and playmaking abilities will certainly be welcome off the bench. While Lance Stephenson can help fill those duties, Rondo is the team's best option at backup point guard and can start for floor general Lonzo Ball if needed.

Tipoff for the Lakers-Pels game is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. Per OddsShark, the Lakers are 5.5-point favorites over the 15-17 Pelicans.

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