New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for defensive meltdown vs. Mavericks

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – FEBRUARY 09: Josh Hart #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Brandon Ingram (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Mavericks: Player Grades for the small forwards

Small Forward. New Orleans Pelicans. BRANDON INGRAM. A-.

Defensive disclaimers aside, Brandon Ingram had another strong game, notching 30 points and adding five rebounds and five assists.

My only complaint about Ingram’s night is that once again he disappeared for a long stretch that coincided with the Pels giving up a lead.

After having a huge first quarter, Ingram scored just two points in the second quarter, which is exactly where the New Orleans Pelicans lost the game.

Dallas scored 42 points in the second and won the quarter by 11, took the lead and never looked back.

The Pelicans have a bad habit of doing this. They get out to a lead in the first quarter, then Ingram goes to the bench and isn’t heard from again until the second half.

Stan Van Gundy has to do a better job of keeping Ingram engaged in the game after he comes back from going to the bench.

This could mean not sitting him for as long at a time, and ensuring that one of he or Zion Williamson is on the floor at all times.

The Pels have zero wing depth and can’t afford these long stretches where Ingram is on the bench or not being used in the offense.