If you haven’t already heard, international hoops have not gone as expected for New Orleans Pelicans star forward Brandon Ingram. Through three games, Ingram has averaged just 4.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in 16.3 minutes of action per game. That’s not at all what you would expect from one of your team’s superstars, especially one who was supposed to be one of the alphas on Team USA.
And to make matters worse, Ingram was removed from the starting lineup prior to Team USA’s third game against Jordan – in favor of former Pelican Josh Hart.
Should the Pelicans be worried?
Long-time readers of the website probably know that I am more of an optimist than most. But even with my predisposed proclivity toward positivity, I really don’t think that there is any cause for concern.
While not as stacked as past iterations of the group (a la the 1992 Dream Team), Team USA has a lot more firepower than you would normally see on an NBA roster. So, it makes sense that Head Coach Steve Kerr would want to remove want of those stars to have a player with more traditional role-player skills (like Hart) in the starting five. After all, there is only one ball to go around!
All the Pelicans should care about is how Ingram slots into a normal team, not a juggernaut cast that will only play a few games together. And judging from Ingram’s past production with the Pelicans, the team has nothing to fear.
It would be nice if Ingram could produce highlight play after highlight play, like some of his colleagues are (namely Jalen Brunson and Anthony Edwards). But just because he is struggling to dominate in international hoops doesn’t mean we all need to rethink how we feel about him.
He’s still the Brandon Ingram we know and love. The one who sets up shop in the mid-post and slowly but surely destroys adversaries with his dazzling array of midrange moves. So, please quit worrying about him and just enjoy watching Team USA compete for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.