The seeding games resume today with the Jazz taking on the Pelicans. The entire conversation currently centers around Zion’s availability for the game. So, will the rookie play tonight?
Zion Williamson left the NBA bubble on July 16 in order to attend a family emergency. The Pelicans’ star’s decision to leave the NBA bubble was always going to put his participation for the Jazz game in doubt.
The star completed his 4-day quarantine upon his arrival back to the bubble and also completed a training session. However, is the rookie-sensation really ready to play the game today?
Is Zion Williamson playing tonight? Alvin Gentry comments
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has listed Zion as a game-time decision. The star spent the past two days practicing in light contact drills. Zion is going to be instrumental if the Pelicans want to make a case for that final playoff spot. The Pelicans need him to fire right from the word go, as they have only 8 games to somehow sneak into those playoff spots.
The coach said the following:
“That’s something that I would leave up to the medical staff. Obviously as a coach, you want him out there as much as we can have him out there. We have many guys who are more equipped to make those decisions than I am from a health standpoint and a minutes-played standpoint. It’ll be collectively something that we’ll sit down, talk about and try to figure out.”
Zion Williamson is questionable for Thursday’s game vs the Jazz
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 29, 2020
Alvin praised the star as he stated that the rookie looks matured beyond his age. The 2k21 cover star was looking in great shape post-lockdown. Zion had extensive conditioning, weight training and basketball workouts with his stepfather during quarantine. But, his progress stalled as soon as he left the bubble.
He is clearly fit and raring to go, but the question is, if he is match fit enough and if he can be Pelican’s talisman in the seeding games.
Zion seems confident about playing against Jazz
However, Zion seems confident about playing in the game against the Jazz. Zion has been the most-hyped rookie in the league after a certain kid from Akron entered the league in 2003. The star seems ready to play the entire game if needed as he said:
“I think I can play the whole game. I’m just a hooper. I don’t know nobody that is going to say. No, I can only play 10 or 15 minutes at a time. I play the whole game if I have to. I’m a hooper.”
The best case for everyone involved today will be to see Zion play restricted minutes tonight. The Pelicans have looked ominous when Zion has teamed up with all-star Ingram, Lonzo and Reddick. Zion averaged 23.6 points per game in the first 19 games he played which is second only to 6-time NBA champion Michael Jordan.
The Pelicans have a huge task in hand as they battle the likes of Kings, Blazers and Grizzlies for the 8th spot in the west and a first-round clash against LeBron James and his Lakers. The Pelicans have the easiest fixtures list though and are favored by many to make the cut.