Ingram isn’t going to win the fan vote for a starting berth, but his place on the All-Star roster for February’s weekend of festivities in Chicago shouldn’t be in question. Ridiculously, Ingram is down in ninth among Western Conference forwards in the latest voting update, behind Carmelo Anthony and only one spot ahead of Dwight Howard.
Every facet of Ingram’s game has improved. He ranks 11th in the league in scoring – all 10 players ahead of him are locks for the All-Star game and his effective field goal percentage is better than six of those players.
Ingram is 24th in usage rate, ahead of Suns guard Devin Booker (another contender for an All-Star spot). In Zion Williamson‘s absence, Ingram has led this Pelicans team and begun to deliver on the potential he showed flashes of on the Lakers.
His three-point shooting has leapt from 33% to over 40%. He’s shooting nearly 87% from the charity stripe, assisting more, rebounding more, and getting double as many steals as last season. Ingram has built a compelling case to win Most Improved Player, and he’s proven himself as not just a promising young player, but a legitimate All-Star calibre scorer.
Crucially, this isn’t just a case of taking more shots. Ingram has been efficient – his PER is 28th in the league, ahead of Bradley Beal, Paul George, Khris Middleton and Bam Adebayo. This is what the Lakers hoped to see from Ingram last season, away from the pressure of playing alongside LeBron James, he is thriving.
Even in the Western Conference, Ingram’s All-Star spot should be guaranteed. There’s a case, although not a great one, that he should be a starter alongside James and Anthony Davis.
Fan voting isn’t going to reward a lesser name playing on a non-playoff team in a small market. Luckily for Ingram, the All-Star selection process isn’t all about the fans. He should get enough support to make the reserve list – it would be a huge shame if he didn’t.