The New Orleans Pelicans’ December to remember turned into a January we can’t wait to forget.
The Pels went 7-5 (.583) to close out 2021, ending the year with a stunning, comeback victory over the Cavs.
It’s a bitter coincidence that Cleveland’s double-digit comeback put a hard cap on a month where New Orleans won only five times in 15 games (.333).
Brandon Ingram was out for five of those, including each game of the losing streak. The Pelicans went 1-4 without BI in January and are 2-12 when he doesn’t play this season.
With Ingram on court, the Pels are 16-20. That isn’t great. But a .444 winning percentage would put New Orleans firmly in the play-in.
It remains to be seen if Ingram will play against Tuesday’s opponent, the Detroit Pistons.
The Pelicans could really use his offense, even against the lowly Pistons.
Detroit just finished its best month of basketball, winning seven of 16 in January. That includes victories over Milwaukee, Utah, Toronto, and Cleveland.
Saddiq Bey and rookie Cade Cunningham lead the Pistons perimeter-based attack. They’ve combined for 35 points per game over the past month.
The stats would say that the Pistons still aren’t a very good basketball team, but right now, neither are the Pelicans.
The Pelicans have proven that they can compete without Ingram. They can’t win without him though. They’ve proven that too.
As of right now, whether or not the Pelicans can end their losing streak comes down to whether or not Brandon Ingram can go. It’s that simple.
Who: New Orleans Pelicans (18-32) at Detroit Pistons (12-37)
When: February 1, 2022, 6:00 p.m.
Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, NBA League Pass
Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM