Entering the season as a sort of a fringe starter, Brandon Ingram dropped a career-high in points while lifting the Pelicans in overtime.
In a game against a Utah Jazz that took until overtime to solve, Ingram went toe-to-toe with Donavan Mitchell and found a way to win. While Mitchell posted 46 points of his own, he was bested by the Pelicans after his team came into the night winners of ten-in-a-row.
When it came down to it, Mitchell and the Jazz missed a few key shots in overtime, while Brandon Ingram kept finding ways to make Utah pay.
In the meantime, Ingram had the biggest scoring night of his career, posting 49 points, going 15-of-25 and hitting 16-of-20 free throws.
Whether it was driving into the lane to absorb Rudy Gobert‘s contact, either getting the foul call or feeding Derrick Favors around the rim. Staying aggressive and keeping his eyes up all night, Ingram was able to finish with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 block in an all-around awesome night.
BRANDON INGRAM IS LIKE THAT pic.twitter.com/9xwosz9k2X
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 17, 2020
Even as this team has battled through injuries to key starters like Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday, Favors, and J.J. Redick, this team continues to find ways to stay alive, mostly though the motor of Ingram.
Last night was just another night like the rest of this season; Ingram was the most important player in a huge Pelicans win.
Averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per contest, his traditional numbers are all impressive on their own through 37 games this season.
Even more impressive than the standard numbers, his conversion rates are off-the-charts, as the 6’9″ forward is shooting 48% from the field, 40.6% from three, and 86% from the free-throw line, all places he’s looked comfortable scoring from this season.
While Brandon Ingram has been forced to miss four games this year with some lower-body injuries, he’s been nothing but a dominant force when on the court.
Brandon Ingram is a BEAST. He should absolutely be an All-Star. What a player he’s turned into.
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 17, 2020
Donovan Mitchell and Brandon Ingram having a very nice “better put me on the damn All-Star team” showdown in New Orleans.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 17, 2020
Already picking up nominations from some bigger-name personalities in the basketball orbit, taking down the Utah Jazz with a limited-strength Pelicans team.
Personalities like Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant (who is oft compared to the Pelicans lanky scorer) have taken to social media to endorse Ingram’s off-the-charts season, which in the route is leading to his All-Star campaign.
Truly, Ingram continues to impress night after night, despite not being one of the better-known players in the league at this point. Last night was just another rung on that ladder, one where he led a takedown of the hottest team in the league.
Among all else, Brandon Ingram is earning the love and respect of his New Orleans Pelicans teammates.
The NBA is a superstar league, which oftentimes can easily result in inflated egos and distrust in a losing locker room, especially with players who like to score in isolation.
However, in the lanky-scoring Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans have an unselfish player, a man of few words but a big impact who is simply proving himself to be a winning guy in this league.
After the win, his teammates were waiting patiently for Ingram to wrap-up his post-game interviews, where they then met the star with an icy celebration.
The love didn’t stop there in the Pelicans’ holding quarters after the victory, as a few of his teammates had some endorsements in the tank.
Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, key cohorts from his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, were quick to post their endorsements of Ingram after the win. The three will always be connected not only from their similarly timed arrivals to the NBA, but as the trio of player assets included the Anthony Davis swap.
Lonzo’s tweet came less than two minutes after running into the locker room after the game.
— Lonzo Ball (@ZO2_) January 17, 2020
Brandon Ingram is a dawg‼️ #AllStar
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) January 17, 2020
At this point, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to keep Ingram out of the All-Star Game. Perhaps if you took his season and put all the same numbers in a bigger media market, say New York or Chicago, there would be even less to doubt in Brandon’s All-Star candidacy.
Despite New Orleans not being one of the biggest basketball markets, it’s going to be incredibly hard to keep Brandon Ingram out of that nomination at this point; he keeps checking off boxes and proving he’s one of the top twenty players in his league.
Continuing to climb up the Western Conference standings and looking much closer to the playoff picture, these New Orleans Pelicans aren’t just winning; they’re beating good teams. Brandon Ingram is a huge part of what this team is doing successfully as they continue to round into form.