Zion Williamson was ruled out for at least Friday’s game against the New York Knicks after the Pelicans announced on Thursday that he will not play. On Friday, David Griffin, executive vice president of the Pelicans, provided an update in which he pushed back the schedule by a significant amount.
Griffin stated that Williamson would not be able to participate in the AT&T Play-In Tournament, which the Pelicans have already qualified for, but he did say that Williamson might be able to return for a first-round playoff series if New Orleans were to make it that far.
According to what we know as of right now, the most favorable outcome for us would be if everything fell into place exactly as it should, and you would be able to practice before the first round. Or perhaps during the first round,” Griffin is quoted as saying to the media, courtesy of Christian Clark of NOLA.com. However, it is going to take more than one person, isn’t that right? It is a really challenging task. It is possible that we will never reach that point either. We are not going to allow him to move on to the next phase if the circumstances are not such that all of those things coincide and he feels the way he ought to feel.
Since the team’s game in Philadelphia on January 2, when Williamson had to leave the game due of an injury to his right hamstring, he has been unable to play because of the injury. On Thursday, Williamson’s view came across as having a slightly more upbeat and positive tone.
The Pelicans made their statement on Thursday, one day after ensuring their participation in the NBA postseason with a win over Memphis on Wednesday. This victory ensured that the Pelicans would finish in the top nine of the Western Conference, which was sufficient for at least a Play-In berth. It is still possible for New Orleans (41-39) to finish in the top six and get a bye into the playoffs if it wins its last two games and the Golden State Warriors (42-38) or the Los Angeles Clippers (40-43) suffer defeats in their respective games. (42-38).
Williamson was expected to continue his recovery for a number of weeks until a new assessment of his injury was performed, according to previous information that the Pelicans had provided. The most recent does not include a timeline or detail of this kind. Before playing their final game of the regular season on Sunday in Minnesota, the Pelicans are expected to hold a workout on Saturday. (3:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass).
If Williamson were to be able to return to form for the playoffs and maintain his health, his presence to the roster would make the Pelicans a more formidable postseason threat than their regular-season record or seeding would otherwise imply. This would be the case regardless of whether or not Williamson was able to return to form.
When Williamson, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 280 pounds, has been on the court for the Pelicans, he has been one of the team’s most productive players, averaging 26 points and seven rebounds per game. This season, New Orleans has posted a record of 17-12 in the games he has participated in for the team.
Since being chosen first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA draft, Williamson has had trouble maintaining a consistent state of good health.
He is currently in his fourth year as a professional and has appeared in a total of 114 games throughout that time. In his second season in the NBA, he played in 61 games, but that was the only season in which he played in more than 30 games. Due to a knee ailment, he was only able to participate in 24 games during his rookie year, and he was sidelined for the entirety of his third season with a fractured foot.