The New Orleans Pelicans have solidly moved into play-in position in the Western Conference, opening up a 1.5-game lead on the actively tanking Portland Trail Blazers for 10th (and a two-game edge on the rebuilding but more competitive Spurs).
Leading the way for the Pelicans climb up the standings since their dreadful 1-12 start is Brandon Ingram, who has taken another step forward this season as not only a scorer but becoming a better facilitator and offensive engine overall. The addition of CJ McCollum has given New Orleans a formidable 1-2 punch on the offensive end, and they’ve been able to put some impressive performances together early in their partnership.
For the next week-plus, however, McCollum will have to take on the role of being a solo leading man in New Orleans after the Pelicans announced Ingram would miss at least a week with a hamstring strain.
Injury Update on Brandon Ingram:
Ingram underwent an MRI today which revealed a mild strain of his right hamstring. He will be reevaluated in 7-10 days.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 10, 2022
The good news for the Pelicans is that they aren’t being pushed much for that 10-seed, but this certainly puts a damper on their chase for the 9-seed in an effort to host their first play-in game. New Orleans has not fared well without Ingram this season, posting a rather unsightly 2-13 record when he’s been out of the lineup, but will hope that McCollum’s presence can mitigate the damage done to their ability to keep the offense rolling.