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Los Angeles Lakers Slow Start Complicated by Suspensions Resulting from Fight with Houston Rockets

The+Lakers%27+Brandon+Ingram+will+serve+a+four-game+suspension+while+his+teammate+Rajon+Rondo+will+serve+a+three+game+suspension+for+their+roles+in+the++brawl+with+the+Houston+Rockets+on+Oct.+20.+Houston%27s+Chris+Paul+will+serve+a+two+game+suspension%2C+as+well.
The Lakers' Brandon Ingram will serve a four-game suspension while his teammate Rajon Rondo will serve a three game suspension for their roles in the  brawl with the Houston Rockets on Oct. 20. Houston's Chris Paul will serve a two game suspension, as well.

The Lakers' Brandon Ingram will serve a four-game suspension while his teammate Rajon Rondo will serve a three game suspension for their roles in the brawl with the Houston Rockets on Oct. 20. Houston's Chris Paul will serve a two game suspension, as well.

The Lakers' Brandon Ingram will serve a four-game suspension while his teammate Rajon Rondo will serve a three game suspension for their roles in the brawl with the Houston Rockets on Oct. 20. Houston's Chris Paul will serve a two game suspension, as well.

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With the NBA season starting, many are looking for the Los Angeles Lakers to be the most improved team. Although the team’s chemistry will improve with time, the Lakers have shown very little justification for the expectations set for them. They are 0-2 to start the year, albeit against two very good, experienced teams in Portland and Houston. Many fans thought that this would be the worst scenario possible to start the season, but it is even worse.

On Saturday night, during the fourth quarter of the game against the Rockets, Brandon Ingram was called for a foul when James Harden made contact with him in the back. Ingram became frustrated with Harden, since he was arguing for an “and-one,” and shoved him afterwards. This, justifiably, resulted in a technical foul on Ingram. After being pulled away by teammates Lance Stephenson and Lonzo Ball, Ingram watched as Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo exchanged words. The altercation got heated and punches were thrown by both of the star point guards. Ingram got involved again and landed a solid blow to Paul’s face resulting in the fight escalating. More teammates got involved, trying to pull the three apart.

Watching the event unfold before his eyes, was LeBron James. James was in a bit of a personal dilemma. Paul, his best friend for about fifteen years was in a fight with his teammate for seven quarters of the regular season. As many would guess, James’ stance on the situation was a hot topic among the media. James chose to avoid any fighting, instead, pulling his buddy away from the situation and calming him down. He allowed his other teammates to deal with Rondo and Ingram. Many believed that James should have dealt with his own team and let the Rockets deal with Paul.

Not only do the Lakers now have to deal with the media about starting the season with two losses and about what James ate for lunch, they have to deal with suspensions. The instigator of the fight, Ingram, received a four game suspension. To add on, Rondo received three games on leave. That is two starters for the Lakers out for three games, allowing for Ball and Kyle Kuzma to most likely join the starting squad. To make matters worse for the Lakers, Paul received the shortest suspension, only two games.

The two sides are still debating about one issue, however. The Rockets believe that Rondo intentionally spit in Chris Paul’s face. Carmelo Anthony shared his thoughts on the alleged actions by Rondo exclaiming, “That’s unacceptable.” Harden also backed up Paul, stating, “Chris had to stand up for himself,” Harden said. The Lakers, on the other hand, believe that there was no spitting by Rondo after watching tape of the issue, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Lakers claim that Rondo was wearing a mouth guard, thus, making it very difficult to spit. Also, when Paul put his finger in Rondo’s face, Rondo suffered a laceration under his right eye, which caused him to throw punches.

No matter the arguments made, the NBA has issued the three suspensions and will most likely keep them in place. Ball claims he’s “100 [percent]” and “ready to go” when asked about potentially taking over the starting role while suspensions are served.

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Los Angeles Lakers Slow Start Complicated by Suspensions Resulting from Fight with Houston Rockets