Ingram, Pelicans seem to have hit stride at the right time

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans seem to have hit their stride right in time to battle for one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference. 

As we near the end of the 2022-23 NBA regular season, the New Orleans Pelicans have found themselves fighting for a spot in this year’s postseason. Despite a strong start to the year, injuries have plagued New Orleans and have played a pivotal role in their ungraceful fall all the way down to the twelfth seed in the conference (that is, coming into yesterday’s game).

However, with the season now seemingly on the line each night, the Pelicans are playing excellent basketball. In their last three games, New Orleans has dominated and won by an average score of 21.3 points.

A major reason for this is the recent play from Brandon Ingram.

Ingram has had a difficult 2022-23 season. After leading the Pelicans to their first playoff appearance in years, injuries have limited his appearance on the floor. Of the 73 games played this season, the former All-Star has appeared in only 36.

Nevertheless, with the Pelicans’ playoff hopes on the line, Brandon Ingram has delivered. In three straight games, Ingram has put together three elite individual performances and has lifted New Orleans to three big wins.

In the bounce-back win against Houston Rockets, Ingram finished with a team-high 26 points and nine assists. Following up this performance, Ingram again led New Orleans in points (32) and assists (seven) in a blowout victory over San Antonio Spurs.

Then on Thursday night, unfortunately for the lowly Charlotte Hornets, Ingram saved his best for last.

The former All-Star finished the game with 30 points, eleven rebounds, and ten assists, logging the first triple-double in his career. To make the feat even more impressive, his triple-double was secured in the third quarter and did not include a single turnover.

For the second straight year, it seems that Brandon Ingram is lifting this Pelicans’ squad into the postseason with his elite level of play. When it matters the most, Ingram and New Orleans seem to have begun hitting their stride as they fight for a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament (to learn more about the play-in tournament, check out this post here).

The Pelicans are currently tied for the eighth seed (with the Dallas Mavericks) in the Western Conference with nine games remaining. If Brandon Ingram and this New Orleans squad are truly peaking heading into April, they are going to be a tough matchup for anyone in the playoffs.

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