The young New Orleans Pelicans have been putting together a promising roster for years now.
Brandon Ingram had stepped up as their go-to guy, with former first-overall pick Zion Williamson spending most of the time nursing injuries, which is why it was such a massive blow for them to have Ingram also sidelined with a toe ailment.
So, after missing two months with that toe injury, the former Los Angeles Lakers forward is finally ready to be back on the floor, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 25, 2023
Ingram was on a roll before suffering that injury early in the season, averaging 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.9 three-pointers on 47/46/86 shooting splits across 15 games.
Also, the Pelicans had a 9-6 record when he was on the floor.
Notably, Willie Green‘s team has been able to hold its ground even without Ingram and Williamson on the lineup.
They’re currently sitting on a 26-22 record — the fourth-best in the Western Conference — trailing the first-seeded Denver Nuggets by 8.0 games.
Combo guard CJ McCollum has been playing at an All-Star level since going solo in the offense, and Jonas Valanciunas‘ physicality has kept them in games with his ability to dominate both ends of the glass.
Moreover, the latest update on Williamson’s status states that he’s going to be re-evaluated in two weeks, adding that his recovery from a hamstring strain is going right as planned.
So, don’t look now, but the Pelicans might mess around and finish with a top-3 record upon Ingram’s arrival.
They’re no longer the future; they’re the present already.