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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Zion Williamson was reportedly ‘pissed’ about his minutes limit

Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans’ handling of Zion Williamson in the NBA restart opener puzzled many, including apparently the player himself.

Williamson played in only 15 minutes of the New Orleans Pelicans’ 106-104 loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday. He was also benched during crunch time, with Williamson sitting out the last 7:19 of the contest despite his team losing by just two points.

Appearing on Friday’s edition of “The Dan Patrick Show,” Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Williamson was “pissed” about his usage in Thursday’s game.

“Zion was pissed. He wanted to play,” Haynes said. “And obviously, I think that members of the Pelicans feel like if he was able to go down the stretch or play significant minutes that they would have got the win last night. But the plan was to get him out there in three- to four-minute bursts. They say that he wasn’t really on a minutes restriction, but they just wanted to make sure they kept him in spurts, but I don’t think Zion knew that he was going to go out there and get 15 minutes.”

The Pelicans wanted to be cautious with Williamson after he spent a week outside of the NBA bubble tending to a family matter.

To be fair, this is pretty much what we heard the team was going to do. What came as a surprise was Williamson’s absence down the stretch in an important game for New Orleans. Even with the usage plan, many felt Williamson had one more “burst” in him that could have put the team over the top. Perhaps Williamson himself would agree with that.

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