Zion Williamson will miss the next three games and the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, New Orleans Pelicans coach Willie Green told reporters Wednesday. Williamson, out since early January with a hamstring strain, is expected to be re-evaluated after the All-Star break, according to Green. Commissioner Adam Silver will now have to name a replacement for Williamson for Feb. 19’s All-Star Game. He had been voted in as a starter based on his performance prior to the injury.
Williamson suffered a right hamstring strain during a Jan. 2 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been out ever since, and the Pelicans have struggled to stay afloat without him. They are 6-13 since he went down, and that includes a 10-game losing streak that they recently snapped.
Fortunately for the Pelicans, with Brandon Ingram back in the lineup, they’ve won their last three games to move back above .500 at 29-27. They currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference.
Williamson was having a stellar season for the Pelicans before he went down. He was averaging 26 points per game and a career-high 4.6 assists for a Pelicans team that, at one point, held the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. With Ingram having emerged as a legitimate secondary star and C.J. McCollum onboard after last season’s trade deadline, the healthy Pelicans were positioned to compete for a championship as soon as this season.
They still might, but the longer Williamson remains sidelined, the more precarious their situation appears. He missed all of last season and most of his rookie season due to injuries, and durability will likely remain a serious concern for the rest of Williamson’s career. He is one of the NBA’s most explosive scorers, but given his body type and explosiveness, the Pelicans are going to have to work hard to keep him on the floor.
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Publish Date:2023-02-09 06:07:11