The New Orleans Pelicans made a statement on Tuesday night, beating the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference Phoenix Suns with a 125-114 win as visitors. While Devin Booker's injury might have played a role in this outcome, the Pelicans did the right plays this time and played better than in the first duel.
Brandon Ingram took over this game, dropping 37 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 9 assists. He almost recorded a triple-double, but the most important thing of the night was the win that tied the series and now takes things even to the Smoothie King Center.
Everybody was in awe of Ingram's performance and one former NBA player reminded people that the Lakers traded Ingram, who is now doing great things in New Orleans. Former Warriors player Festus Ezeli took to Twitter to share his opinion on the 2019 blockbuster trade that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles in exchange for the Lakers' young core.
"I know Lakers won a bubble chip but every time I see Brandon Ingram hoop I can’t help but think how much of a mistake it was to trade him," Ezeli wrote.
Ingram was considered a bust when he was with the Lakers, especially thanks to the comparisons to Kevin Durant. He only needed a change of scenario to thrive and the Pelicans offered him that. He's expected to lead this team for the future alongside Zion Williamson. He's meshed almost perfectly with CJ McCollum while keeps showing his quality every game.
We'll never know if the Lakers' core could have blossomed in L.A., but right now, the Pelicans are in the playoffs, and the Purple and Gold are a mess, trying to find answers after a horrible 2021/22 season. Ingram hopes to continue the good pace and try to kick the Suns while they're down and without their best player.