Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart deserve All-Star buzz

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Josh Hart. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Josh Hart. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart have been carrying the New Orleans Pelicans with Zion Williamson out and they deserve recognition.

Ingram has stepped up in the absence of Zion, and Hart is having the best season of his career since being moved into the starting lineup.

While the Pels’ starting five has been great this season, their bench has provided practically nothing save the occasional big game from Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

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This has made the task for Ingram, Hart and Jonas Valanciunas even more difficult, as they’ve had to play extended minutes with no real help from the reserves.

It’s been even more apparent the last ten games, in which Ingram have Hart have been brilliant. Because New Orleans is one of the smallest markets, these two players don’t get much national attention, but both are playing at an All-Star level right now.

Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart over the last 10 games for the New Orleans Pelicans

After missing seven games early in the season, Ingram has been playing at near MVP-level since returning, and the Pels have been winning. They have won four in a row, are 9-5 over their last 14 and find themselves just 1.5 games out of the play-in tournament, a goal I think they will reach.

Hart has been the “heart” of the team in so many ways. He not only does all of the dirty work, but has improved his scoring, particularly his 2-point shooting, as he’s shooting just under 60 percent for the season, lowering his 3-point attempts and getting it done from inside the arc. He has also evolved into the team’s vocal leader, calling out his teammates when necessary.

Here are their numbers over the last 10 games:

  • Brandon Ingram: 27.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.9 APG, 50.5 FG%
  • Josh Hart: 11.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 5.5 APG, 52.5 FG%

Ingram will probably end up on the All-Star team or even All-NBA, but it’s doubtful Hart will get the recognition he deserves, as so much of what he does doesn’t show up in the stat sheet.

Don’t look now, but the New Orleans Pelicans are making some noise and if their season is salvaged it will be because of Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

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