This comparison will make you feel better about Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Earlier today, we discussed the struggles that New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Brandon Ingram has been having on Team USA. And while I made sure to end things on a positive note, talking negatively about Ingram for any amount of time leaves a bad taste in my mouth. After all, he’s freaking awesome.

So, to lighten up everyone’s day as the basketball world continues to rag on Ingram and misinterpret what is going on with him and Team USA, I figured I would share an interesting player comparison that I found when sifting through Cerebro Sports’ database.

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, Cerebro Sports’ Global Search tool enables you to look through NBA history (or at least all the way back to 1980, which is the furthest their database extends) to find players with similar statistical profiles.

(Sidebar: As an aside, when we say similar statistical profiles, we are referring to their scores in Cerebro Sports’ 5-metric suite. We won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details here. But if you want to learn more about how it all works, be sure to check out their website). 

Anyway, when you run the numbers on Ingram’s statistical profile from last season, you get two players who have similar 5-metric suite outputs. The first is Bradley Beal. His 2021-22 campaign looks very similar to the one Ingram had last season.

But more importantly, the other player with a similar 5-metric suite to 22-23 Ingram was none other than former First Team All-NBA guard Devin Booker.  For those wondering, the specific seasons where Booker’s 5-metric suite looks similar to Ingram’s are his 2018-19 campaign, 2019-20, and 2020-21 season.

Now, Ingram is only a year younger than Booker, so that means Booker was actually younger than Ingram was last season when he had those types of runs. However, the fact that Ingram is still in his mid-20s and is posting numbers that bear resemblance to a player who has now ascended to borderline top-10 level is very promising.

Who knows, maybe Ingram will take another leap and ascend from fringe All-Star to full-fledged All-NBA player. That would be one hell of a development for this Pelicans team that already has one All-NBA caliber performer in Zion Williamson. But at the very least, this comparison should serve as a reminder that we shouldn’t panic about Ingram’s Team USA performance.

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