Jayson Tatum or Brandon Ingram: Who is better and expected to elevate their team in the 2021-22 NBA season?

Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against Jayson Tatum (#0) of the Boston Celtics
Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against Jayson Tatum (#0) of the Boston Celtics
Charles Eluemuno

Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram could evolve into two of the most lethal scorers in the NBA. They top the list of players who are most likely to evolve into efficient scorers like Kevin Durant.

However, there is an ongoing debate about how is the better player of the two, and who will do a better job elevating their team in the 2021-22 NBA season. Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram both stand at 6' 8", which gives them an advantage over opponents in the small forward position.

On that note, let's analyze each player's strengths and weaknesses:

Jayson Tatum's strengths and weaknesses

Jayson Tatum (#0) of the Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum (#0) of the Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum's most intriguing selling point is his ability to make shots at an incredibly high rate. The Duke product possesses a highly advanced offensive skill set right from college, and has continued to build on it. His mid-range jumpers are clutch, and he's also a significant threat from the deep.

Jayson Tatum picking up where he left off in the first half! 🔥26 PTS | 11 in 3rd Q 📺: ESPN

The 23-year-old Tatum can play small ball four on occasion, as his quickness and ball-handling skills help him breeze past defenders and finish at the rim. Against small defenders, he can play a little bully ball to get to the paint. Regardless of who guards him, Jayson Tatum has a plethora of ways to score on his man, especially during isolation.

Jayson Tatum's weakness which stands out, though, is his inconsistency in defense. While he can completely lock a player down to force a turnover, he can get ice-cold on the next possession and be completely out of sync.

Another weakness in his game is his size, which can be a problem when he plays at the four in a small lineup. While he can take advantage offensively, he can get bullied in defense because he does not have the physicality to compete favorably. However, that might not be a concern for Jayson Tatum moving forward, as the youngster seems to be bulking up this offseason.

Brandon Ingram's strengths and weaknesses

Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans

It has always been said that Brandon Ingram needs to become more of a two-way player if he hopes to become world-class. While he has no problem scoring the ball, making stops is a rarity.

Ingram's high basketball IQ and wing-span play a significant role in his offensive prowess. Brandon Ingram's 7' 3" wing-span makes finishing at the rim or scoring over small defenders a lot easier than most other players. The ability to look over the heads of defenders helps him see the floor better, which has improved his passing game as well.

2 MINS of sick BRANDON INGRAM highlights 🔥HBD All-Star @B_Ingram13

Brandon Ingram makes scoring look easy, as his calm demeanor extends to how he approaches games. While that is an incredible ability to have in offense, as it makes him a better decision-maker, it is the worst approach to play defense.

That brings us to Brandon Ingram's extremely visible weakness - his inability to impact the game at the other end of the court. His long arms and strides ought to make things a tad easier for him in defense. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the Duke product often comes across as lazy defensively.

Furthermore, Brandon Ingram's extremely frail physique remains a hindrance, as the 24-year-old struggles to handle the physical play in the NBA. Although Durant, despite his similarly lean frame, has managed to dominate the NBA, that is more of an exception rather than the norm.

Who is a better basketball player, and will be more impactful for their team?

Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans brings the ball up the court.
Brandon Ingram (#14) of the New Orleans Pelicans brings the ball up the court.

It would be unfair to opine who is the better basketball player of the two, as both possess a unique set of skills and compete at the highest level. While Brandon Ingram has better stats as per field goal percentage, stats do not always tell the full story. Jayson Tatum is the primary scorer for the Boston Celtics as opposed to Ingram, who is the second scoring option for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Celtics franchise player has attempted more shots from the field, which is reason enough to impact his percentages, as there is a likelihood that he will miss a few. But his productivity continually shows how crucial he is to the C's.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans are building behind Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. However, Williamson is the focal point of the rebuild, as the 21-year-old could develop into an elite forward in the future.

Although Tatum and Ingram are absolutely sensational in offense, the same cannot be said about their efficacy at the other end of the court. Defensively, Jayson Tatum has the edge even though they both have the potential to be elite defenders, given their height and quickness.

Jayson Tatum has proven that he can carry the load of the Celtics with several jaw-dropping performances. With playoff qualification in the balance, he championed a victory against the Russell Westbrook-led Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament last year. The Celtics were without Jaylen Brown, but Tatum's 50-point outing was enough to clinch his team the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

Jayson Tatum is now the only player in NBA history to drop 50 points in:🟢 Regular season🟢 Play-In Tournament🟢 PlayoffsA season for the history books.

However, as lethal as Brandon Ingram can be, his game has not elevated to the point where he can take over and completely dominate opponents.

Although he has the ability to do so, he is yet to unlock that next-level skill and aggressiveness that would see him single-handedly dominate games. While his absence will likely be missed, he is not as electric as Jayson Tatum, though.

Also Read: What is Jayson Tatum’s Current Contract?

Edited by Bhargav


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