Zion Williamson limited to 15 minutes in Pelicans' return

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9:44 PM GMT

For the second time this season, New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson’s “debut” used to be marred via a minutes limit that kept him off the floor of a close sport within the final minutes.

Williamson debuted Jan. 22, and after his 17-level outburst nearly blew the roof off the Smoothie King center in New Orleans, the rookie headed to the bench for the ultimate 5:23 and the Pelicans ended up losing to the San Antonio Spurs.

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Zion Williamson restricted to 15 minutes in Pelicans' return

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On Thursday evening as the NBA restarted its season with Williamson and the Pelicans within the first game, he was once more absent in the closing minutes in what changed into a 106-104 New Orleans loss to the Utah Jazz in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Williamson was once set to play a predetermined selection of minutes and had reached his quota when he exited in the fourth quarter with 7:19 last as New Orleans clung to a 4-point lead. He did not return at the same time as the Jazz took the lead, or with 6.9 seconds closing because the Pelicans had a chance to tie or win, down two.

Zion Williamson limited to 15 minutes in Pelicans' return

“in fact we would like we could’ve performed him down the stretch, but we used the minutes that were given to us and that’s the reason the way in which it is,” Pelicans instruct Alvin Gentry said.

“We weren’t going to stay him again available in the market. The scientific people stated we performed them within the minutes that have been allowed for us to play him, and just move on. i assumed he appeared excellent, i assumed he had some good moments, and obviously we’re a much better and totally different workforce when he is out on the ground.”

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requested whether or not it was basically a conditioning issue with Williamson — who missed the primary forty three video games of the season on account of knee surgical procedure — Gentry stated, “I was once informed the minutes that he could play, and that’s the reason what I did.”

In whole, Williamson played 15 minutes towards the Jazz and scored thirteen points on 6-of-8 shooting. He did not pull down a rebound for the first time in his younger NBA profession. He additionally committed three fouls, had two turnovers and used to be a career-worst minus-16.

Williamson stated it can be “no longer even just conditioning” however getting again his glide and really feel for the game.

“this is the NBA, that is the perfect players on the planet, and you want to really feel relaxed,” Williamson said. “i do not wish to hurt my group more than I helped them in a sense, if you happen to remember me.”

Williamson left the Orlando bubble on July sixteen to tend to a family medical emergency and again on July 24. as soon as he used to be back on the NBA campus, he had to quarantine in his resort room for four days.

He left quarantine Tuesday and joined the Pelicans for observe but did not do any 5-on-5 or 3-on-three work. He practiced again with the staff Wednesday — although Gentry known as that a light apply — and went via shootaround Thursday morning. He was a game-time resolution for the opener towards the Jazz.

Williamson said the crew wasn’t retaining him again and even supposing he did wish to be on the ground late in the fourth quarter, the group may easily have held him out completely.

So how lengthy will it take to get his go with the flow again?

“in truth, I don’t know how long it can take,” Williamson stated. “i guess perhaps a pair video games.”

Williamson maintained that he hadn’t had any setbacks whereas conditioning but talked about it felt like January again when it came to sitting out down the stretch.

The loss dropped New Orleans to 4.5 video games again of the eighth seed in the Western conference with seven games to play. New Orleans returns to action Saturday against the LA Clippers sooner than taking over the eighth-situation Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.