Should Zion Williamson Play This Season For The Pelicans If Available
Zion Williamson has had a rocky start to his career, to say the least. Two injured seasons and then one that made him look like the second coming of Shaq. During the week Williamson's stepfather Lee Anderson did an interview with Jordy Culotta. Anderson not only discussed his thoughts on Zion in New Orleans but he also discussed his thoughts on Zion playing this season.
When it comes to Zion playing this season, Anderson didn't run from the question. Anderson stated:
"I expect him to play. If you were to ask Zion, I'm sure he would probably say the same thing. But with just a couple of games left, with the magnitude of what's going on in New Orleans and the opportunity to qualify for the play-in game and possibly get into a seven-game series, that would be off the charts in the city of New Orleans. That would be a plus in New Orleans. That would be a plus for Zion with the way things are right now. Do I expect him to play? Certainly I do. That's on me, though. That's purely me. I don't think there's anything else that would hinder him from doing that right now."
He did go on to say it's a decision that the Pelicans' medical staff will have to make and it's not easy because as much as they want him to play now, you also need to worry about his future.
He also went on to discuss how any talk of Zion not wanting to be in New Orleans is false. So much so that he doesn't know where all of this began and he instructed fans to discount anything from anyone who says Zion hasn't embraced the city.
Also to add smoke to this fire. Head Coach Willie Green, who Anderson praised as the perfect choice for a coach stated that Williamson started practicing in controlled scrimmages. However, two fans that I know gave me information that Zion was participating in 5v5 work before games at shootaround. Now when you combine all of that with Anderson's interview the question now becomes should Zion play if available?
In my opinion, you have to look at this with two scenarios. Scenario 1 is that you play Zion however it must be controlled and limited. I know last time he was injured he hated burst minutes; however, if he wants to play that is something that must happen. Also to help with that instead of starting him, I would let him finish games that way he is in during the most important moments. Scenario 2 is that you just wait until next season to play him. As Anderson stated the medical staff has to take into consideration his future. If there is a high chance of re-injury then I would not play him because a healthy Zion, a healthy team, and whatever move the Pelicans make with the Lakers draft pick puts them up for one of the most anticipated teams and a team that should be in contention for a championship.
Would it be great to have Zion in for the play-in, absolutely 100%. However, the Pelicans are in a position to be a major player in the western conference and the whole NBA. I don't know if you risk that for a playoff round 1 exit against the Suns. The chemistry isn't there and I don't know if it will make that big of a difference. The only way you play him is if the re-injury chance is low and if he agrees to burst minutes to protect his future.
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