Forget about Zion for a second.
Let’s talk about Brandon Ingram.
Zion continues to make history! pic.twitter.com/eZ6i9HywcZ
Article continues below …
— The Association on FOX (@TheAssociation) February 29, 2020
Ok, well we didn’t actually mean forget about Zion. His performances won’t let us.
But we can give B.I. some of the love he deserves.
Brandon Ingram fuels the @PelicansNBA win vs. CLE with 29 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST.
Zion Williamson: 24 PTS, 11-16 FGM
Jrue Holiday: 22 PTS, 6 AST pic.twitter.com/9lVuxQlUR8
NBA (@NBA) February 29, 2020
With the arrival of Zion Williamson in the Big Easy, it’s become commonplace to overlook the Pelicans’ actual All-Star.
But as the weeks roll on, it’s becoming more and more evident that both of New Orleans’ young forwards have the potential to be All-Stars for years to come, and the Pelicans are inching closer to having their name mentioned when speaking of the game’s great dynamic duos.
B.I. & Zion combine for 53 @B_Ingram13 drops 29 PTS while @Zionwilliamson (24 PTS) becomes the 1st player in @NBAHistory to score 20+ points in 10 straight games before the age of 20! pic.twitter.com/SuPot0tJNc
— NBA (@NBA) February 29, 2020
Which are unquestionably the top duos in the game today? Where both players are considered extraordinary? We can name ’em:
LeBron James and Anthony Davis, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. When healthy, you add in the Splash Brothers, as well as Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving.
We all somewhat in agreement?
Then, there is a second tier of great duos, where both guys are really, really good, and even one might be extraordinary:
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, and Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum.
How are we feeling about this so far?
Not sure what to make of that but moving on!
Now that we have the lists laid out, how far out are Zion and B.I. from landing in that second tier? Or, are they already there?
New Orleans’ starting forwards are just 22 and 19 years old, with a bright future ahead. But All-Star Brandon Ingram and rookie Zion Williamson have been very productive already in first 10 games together, including combining for 63 pts at Lakers. Story: https://t.co/s8hMN6zKw1pic.twitter.com/2yCNy3O4zB
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) February 26, 2020
Over the last 11 games, either Zion or Ingram has led the Pelicans in scoring.
On the season, Ingram is averaging 24.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, and in his first 14 games, Williamson is putting up 23.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.
For context, of the tandems previously mentioned, only LeBron and AD, Harden and Westbrook, Dame and CJ, and Giannis and Middleton average more combined points than Zion and B.I.
They also seem to have earned each other’s respect.
.@RealSkipBayless lists 3 possibilities as to why @B_Ingram13 called @Zionwilliamson ‘The GOAT’ following their loss to the Lakers pic.twitter.com/P1eDMDjjAG
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 26, 2020
Lastly, New Orleans is making a playoff push, sitting only two games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference after Friday’s win over Cleveland.
the updated NBA standings following Friday nights action. pic.twitter.com/EUdY6KhCoW
— NBA (@NBA) February 29, 2020
Pretty impressive for a team that lost 13 in a row across November and December.
Next up for the Pelicans is a second matchup with the Lakers in less than a week.
And at the rate at which their young duo is performing, it will be a preview of a Western Conference Playoffs first round matchup in no time.