Brandon Ingram served a timely reminder of his quality ahead of Zion Williamson's impending return by scoring a career-high 49 points against the Utah Jazz, and Lonzo Ball called him the New Orleans Pelicans' "go-to guy".
It was confirmed on Monday that Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and one of the most hyped prospects to ever enter the NBA, is expected to make his regular-season debut next week against the San Antonio Spurs.
A knee injury has kept the teenager sidelined since preseason and Ingram, traded to the Pelicans in the offseason as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, has thrived in his absence.
The forward led the Pelicans to a 138-132 overtime victory over the Jazz, who had their 10-game winning streak snapped as a result on Thursday.
Ingram is averaging 25.8 points per game this season - the 10th best return in the NBA - and Ball said that he has to be considered the main man on the team that landed Williamson.
"He has come into his own. It is Brandon Ingram time now," Ball, who also came across to New Orleans from the Lakers in the Davis trade, told reporters.
"Since I have known him, he has been a confident person but this whole year, he has been on a whole other level.
"Obviously, he is our go-to guy on this team and we trust him."