Los Angeles Lakers: 3 players stepping up with Brandon Ingram out

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

The first player to see an increased role is the rookie Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Svi has struggled to see the floor outside of garbage time for most of the season, but has been turned to over Lance Stephenson over the last three games with Brandon Ingram out.

Svi is playing 15.4 minutes per game since Dec. 5, compared to 10.6 minutes given to Stephenson. This is an increase over the 10.4 minutes Svi has averaged for the whole season, but it was only a matter of time that he would crack the rotation once he adjusted to the speed of the game and got his shot rolling.

He’s the best shooter on the team, and is connecting on 54.5 percent of his 3.7 3-point attempts per game over the last three contests. He’s averaging 6.7 points per game in that span. The Los Angeles Lakers came into the season with some questions surrounding their ability to knock down shots from deep, so if Svi can knock down around 40 percent of his 3-pointers (54.5 percent is unsustainable), head coach Luke Walton will have a hard time removing him from the rotation.

Outside of shooting, he’s improving defensively and grabbed two steals in the Lakers’ last game against the Miami Heat. Deploying smart players that do the little things and space the floor are perfect complementary players next to LeBron James. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is that and fits with the rest of Los Angeles’ roster and style of play, something we’ve seen in recent games.