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Zion Williamson (hamstring) out at least three weeks

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Mathew Huff profile picture
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Pelicans Zion Williamson ranks second for most games with 30+ points, 60% FG

The surprising New Orleans Pelicans got a bad break recently. Their franchise cornerstone, Zion Williamson, is expected to miss at least three weeks with a hamstring injury. While the Pelicans still have a solid squad with the likes of Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum leading the way, Williamson’s absence will still be noticeable. The Pelicans are battling for the top spot in the Western Conference right now along with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets. Without their best player, this battle is now going to become a lot tougher.

Pelicans’ Star, Zion Williamson, to Miss Three Weeks

Zion Williamson’s Season So Far

To say Zion has been having an All-Star campaign would be an understatement. On the year, the former Duke sensation is averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 total rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. He is doing this while shooting an effective field goal percentage of 61.5 percent. Zion’s per 36 minutes and advanced numbers are just as impressive. So far, he is tallying a player efficiency rating of 25.5 to couple with a true shooting percentage of 65.2 percent. Not to mention, Williamson is also averaging 28.4 points, 1.2 steals, and 5.0 assists per 36 minutes. Some notable career-bests thus far for the one-time All-Star include a 24.1 percent assists percentage and a 5.9 box plus/minus rating. These numbers should not come as a surprise though. Pelicans coach, Willie Green, had this to say about Zion Williamson after a scrimmage before the regular season even started:

“Z looked amazing. His strength, his speed. He dominated the scrimmage pretty much.”

Hearing this gave Pelicans fans faith. The past year, Zion Williamson’s health and diet were a major concern. However, it looks like he has put those concerns to bed this year with how well he has played. It is going to be a challenge for New Orleans to keep up their recent success for this three week stretch without Zion Williamson. While the team is capable, maintaining their current third place standing in the Western Conference could be the team’s biggest test this season.

Zion’s Importance to New Orleans’ Success

Zion Williamson is the centerpiece of this team. With this in mind, New Orleans’ game plan will have to be altered. Currently, they have a team net rating of 4.4 to go along with being ranked ninth in team assists at 26.4 per game. They are also 10th in three-point shooting percentage of 36.8 percent as a team. Bear in mind, the other two stars in Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum have also missed a handful of games this season.

This sheds more light on Zion’s importance to the New Orleans Pelicans. Going forward, New Orleans will face teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is a treacherous stretch to face without one’s superstar player. Four out of these six teams very well could be in this year’s playoffs. Even Washington could have play-in aspirations. The Pelicans do have the talent to win many of these games, but as alluded to already, franchise cornerstone, Zion Williamson, would have been an x-factor in each of these matchups.

I am an avid sports fan who loves basketball. I have a soft spot for Denver sports and have been involved with sports writing for close to 7 years now. I like to utilize both statistics and a blend of the eye test when analyzing the game I love.

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