New Orleans will be without Zion Williamson (hamstring) on Friday vs. the Kings

Zion Williamson Pelicans pic 1
Zion Williamson Pelicans pic 1

Last night, playoffs did technically start in the NBA. It’s not the official playoffs, but rather the play-in tournament. In the early window, the Los Angeles Lakers were on the road to face the New Orleans Pelicans. This was their second straight game vs. each other after meeting on the final day of the regular season. 

Heading into last night’s contest, the Pelicans were favored (-1) and knew they had a recipe to beat Los Angeles. However, Zion Williamson made his presence felt vs. the Lakers and had one of the best games of his professional career. The 23-year-old had 40 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Williamson left in the 4th quarter when the game was tied 95-95. New Orleans lost 110-106. On top of that, Williamson has already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Pelicans.

Do the Pelicans stand a chance this Friday in the play-in tournament vs. the Kings?

Zion Williamson was in the middle of the healthiest season of his professional career. Including the play-in game last night vs. Los Angeles, Willaimson played in 71 games this season. By far the highest of his career. The former first-round pick found a way to manage his injuries in 2023-24 and stay relatively healthy. That was until the Pelicans’ game last night vs. the Lakers. Unfortunately, Williamson went down and left the game with 3:13 left in the fourth. He did not return and the Pelicans lost the #7 vs. #8 play-in game. However, the team still has a chance to play this Friday for the official eighth seed.

Their opponent will be the Sacramento Kings who beat the Golden State Warriors last night in the #9 vs. #10 play-in game. Keegan Murray’s 32 points led Sacramento. Without Zion Williams, do the Pelicans stand a chance this Friday vs. the Kings? Besides Zion, no other played scored more than 12 points for New Orleans in their loss to the Lakers. They’ll need more production from their other key players if they want to have a chance at upsetting the Kings.

Against the Lakers, two of New Orleans’ starters failed to hit double-digit points. Jonas Valanciunas finished with four and C.J. McCollum had just nine. Brandon Ingram’s scoring numbers were down in the Pelicans’ play-in game. Ingram scored 11 points and was 4-12 from the field. This season, he’s averaging (20.8) points per game. The Pelicans need that type of production and then some if they want to hang with the Kings. Who will step up for the Pelicans this Friday when they face the Kings without their all-star PF Zion Williamson?

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