The New Orleans Pelicans shocked the world on Tuesday evening when they defeated the No. 1 seeded Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of their first-round Western Conference playoff showdown.
While a lot of factors played into the final result, including Devin Booker’s unfortunate injury, the key to New Orleans pulling out the upset win was the stellar play of forward Brandon Ingram.
Ingram finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Not only did he score a lot of points, but he did it when it mattered most. Of his final tally, 26 of Ingram’s points came in the second half.
In the end, the Pelicans earned their first playoff victory since 2018.
One person who loved what he saw from Ingram? His former Los Angeles Lakers teammate and current Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma. He immediately took to Twitter to shout out his guy:
— kuz (@kylekuzma) April 20, 2022
Kuzma hasn’t been shy about going off on his former Laker affiliations in the past, so if he has a positive assessment of Ingram’s performance, you know he means it.
That said, Kuzma wasn’t the only ex-Laker to show Ingram love. Larry Nance Jr. also enjoyed what he saw from his past, and current, teammate.
“(Ingram) is being dominant,” Nance Jr. said. “He’s a basketball savant. He’s continuing to learn, ask questions, studying. Watching film on the (training) table, watching the film on the bus, taking care of his body now better. All those things are why he’s having success and why you see it on the big stage.”
Nance Jr. then went on to add that Ingram was “the best player on the floor” on Tuesday night.
Now that’s how you do Coachella. https://t.co/DQ6GARDpKO
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 20, 2022
Given how dysfunctional the Lakers are these days, you love to see their ex-young stars thriving and showing each other so much respect on the big stage.
Can Ingram really lead the Pelicans past Phoenix? Probably not. But is he going to make this series way more competitive than people anticipated? Absolutely.