Zion Williamson: Return To Pelicans In Playoffs ‘Absolutely Realistic’

The New Orleans Pelicans are attempting to march forward in the NBA playoffs without Zion Williamson, and they gave it a fairly good go in their Game 1 road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.Zion Williamson, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans

Williamson, of course, suffered a left hamstring injury near the end of the Pelicans’ play-in loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He missed the next play-in game (a win over the Sacramento Kings) and then the 94-92 loss to the Thunder, the Western Conference’s top seed.

How long will Williamson be sidelined? No one seems to know. Injuries are a hard thing to predict. But Williamson attempted to give some insights to NBA reporters, anyway, saying that it’s “absolutely realistic” he returns during the playoffs, per Will Guillory of The Athletic.

“I knew something happened,” Williamson said, indicating this hamstring injury isn’t as bad as the one he suffered last season, via Guillory. “It didn’t feel nothing like it did on the right side. The right side was definitely sharper pain.”

Added Guillory: “Williamson said the injury was “demoralizing” but he’s already started doing some rehab work with trainers. Seemed fairly optimistic when he spoke about where he is now in the process.”

Now, the Pelicans will likely have to get past the Thunder for Williamson to get back on the court. Or maybe not, too.

Either way, though, New Orleans showed in Game 1 that it may not be an easy out — even minus Williamson. The outcome wasn’t decided until guard CJ McCollum missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

 “I should have attacked a little earlier, a little faster,” McCollum said. “But credit, it was good defense. … I thought it was cash and I missed it long.”

Williamson appeared in a career-high 71 games this season, compiling averages of 22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 57.0% from the field, 33.3% on 3-pointers and 70.2% from the free-throw line. 

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