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Brandon Ingram is filling a void left by Anthony Davis in New Orleans

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Published: November 3, 2019

Another NBA season in New Orleans is underway after much anticipation and fans find themselves in the same situation once again as the best Pelicans player is putting up historic numbers without a significant number in the wins column to show for it.

Except what is different about this situation is that very few saw Brandon Ingram becoming the guy that would be counted on to keep the ship from sinking. Straight up. If Ingram can’t step on the floor, the Pelicans look as if they have next to zero chances of winning a single game with no Zion Williamson, a rookie, available and a struggling Jrue Holiday on offense.

There are plenty of numbers that suggest that, at age 22, Ingram is having one of the greatest starts of a season in franchise in history. He scored 134 points in his first five games, surpassing small forward Jamal Mashburn.



Ingram is also doing more than scoring. He’s stuffing the stat line and playing like the franchise player Anthony Davis was. Posting averages of 26.8 pts, 8.2 reb, and 4.8 ast through the first five games, Ingram is establishing himself as a potential All-Star and Most Improved Player Candidate in a very young season.



The man has skill

Watching Ingram play is exciting. I saw small samples of him in LA and assumed he was a bust. I was wrong.

It was assumed that all Ingram was good for was iso play. That’s not true, and his iso game is a tremendous asset as the Pels finally have a player that can make a play whenever the offense breaks down. This is an attribute former franchise face Anthony Davis did not possess.

In New Orleans, Ingram has looked like a self-starter with great instinct. He’s forcing defenders to respect his shot both from 3-point and mid-range and it’s made his drives that much more punishing.

Though he lacks some upper body strength, there is incredible finesse in his game and his length, at times, is unguardable.

Options

The team isn’t winning, but those are problems to tackle for another day. Dealing with issues or not, the potential is there. With the versatility of Ingram emerging, new options are presented on the floor.

Dynamic small forwards have been a rare breed in New Orleans. Ingram may be the chosen one in that department. He has the ability to do a little of everything, decent shooting, strong finisher on the break, great iso player, and a decent passer.

Ingram doesn’t handle the rock well enough to switch over as the team’s new starting point guard, but he excels in stretches.

If Ingram runs the point here and there, it shakes up opposing defenses that have to respect his shooting and his ability to drive and post up. This leaves shooters on the wing open.

Rebirth

In any case, Ingram is reborn a brand new man in New Orleans. Free of drama and expectation, he now can shine as bright as a marquee sign on the edge of Canal Street. While fans have been waiting for the mystery that descended to Earth from planet Krypton in the form of Zion, Ingram looks like Superman right now. He looks like the centerpiece of the Davis trade.

May you be rewarded in the summer with a lovely contract, Brandon “Big Easy” Ingram. You’re the kind of guy I want around for a long time.

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