Currently in his fourth NBA season, New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram has made a name for himself. Ingram came into this league with a lot of potential to be a top player in the league, and he’s moving in the right direction.
He has a strong case to win this year’s Most Improved Player award, and here’s why.
Brandon Ingram transitioning from college to the NBA
Ingram enjoyed an impressive freshman year at Duke, where he averaged 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and two assists in 36 games. During his one year in college, Ingram showed his dominance on the court against college players. At 6-foot-7, Ingram used his length to create shots over defenders and drive to the rim and finish with contact. Many NBA scouts were high on him, and he was one of the top prospects going into the 2016 NBA draft.
Ingram only needed one year of college basketball to make a name for himself. After his time at Duke, the LA Lakers selected him with the second overall pick during the 2016 NBA draft. During his rookie season, he spent time in the starting lineup and coming off the bench. He played in 79 games and averaged 9.4 points, four rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Ingram was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.
The next season his numbers improved, and he was a full-time starter. He averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. Ingram showed a lot of improvement in shooting from the field. One area that he added to his game was his 3-point shooting. During the 2017-18 season, he shot 39 percent from deep. In his final season with the Lakers, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and three assists. While he was a Laker, Ingram became one of the team’s top and most consistent players.
Brandon Ingram making his first All-Star playing with the New Orleans Pelicans
When Ingram joined the Pelicans, the team had a new identity. Instead of having a superstar in Anthony Davis, the Pelicans had a group of young talented players and a mix of veteran players. Also joining the team was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Zion Williamson. At the start of the season, Ingram picked up where he left off. He showcased his scoring abilities and quickly became one of the Pelicans’ top players.
He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career, and that was a huge accomplishment for Ingram. Through 59 games, the 22-year-old is leading the team in points, averaging 24.1 per game. He’s going to play a significant role during these final games of the NBA restart. He’s one player that the Pelicans need to perform well if they want to make the playoffs.
Here’s why Brandon Ingram deserves the Most Improved Player award
Ingram has improved each season he’s been in the league. In just three seasons, he’s become an NBA All-Star in a tough Western Conference. His games continue to get better and better, and he’s taken on that leadership role with the Pelicans. When the team needs a big shot, there’s a good chance for Ingram to have the ball in his hands.
If you take Ingram off the Pelicans, the team will miss a good amount of scoring. Williamson is a rising star on the team, but Ingram has that experience that Williamson doesn’t. Ingram is starting to understand the game more, and he’s learning to make the right decision in different situations. He’s showing signs that he will be a top 10 player in the league soon.