Zion Williamson’s minutes will continue to be limited by Pelicans
Those upset about the New Orleans Pelicans’ handling of Zion Williamson in Thursday’s game have some bad news coming their way.
Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin said Friday that Williamson will not play “significant minutes” in the team’s next game, and perhaps even beyond that, citing the need to ramp up his activity after his return to the NBA bubble.
“I appreciate the fact that everyone wants him to play 40 minutes every night,” Griffin said, via Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “I can promise you he’s not going to. No mistakes were made yesterday with how this was handled other than by me coming forward and expressing this in the clearest way possible. This isn’t complicated. He will not play significant minutes in the next game, and he may not in the following game. This is all about the ramp-up time. He didn’t get the benefit of the things that his teammates got for those 13 days. This is going to take some time.”
Williamson was out of the NBA bubble for over a week tending to a family matter. That meant he missed numerous 5-on-5 practices, as well as all three of the team’s scrimmages. The Pelicans believe that he needs to be pushed back to full speed slowly as a result.
Williamson reportedly hates the restrictions, but has no choice. The Pelicans will be very cautious, despite the fact that they are four games out of the eighth Western Conference playoff spot and need wins.