The New Orleans Pelicans will be without phenom forward Zion Williamson indefinitely.
With a shot at the play-in tournament on the horizon, the New Orleans Pelicans suffer a brutal blow in that regard, as star forward Zion Williamson will be out indefinitely after fracturing his finger.
Entering Friday night’s road game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, the Pelicans hold a 30-36 record, which is good enough for 11th place in the Western Conference. New Orleans is 1.5 games back of the Southwest Division foe San Antonio Spurs for the No. 10 seed in the West. With only six regular-season games remaining, the Pelicans are running out of time to make the NBA Playoffs.
It would have been cool to see Williamson in the play-in tournament, but it is no longer happening.
New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson out indefinitely with broken finger
This feels as though Williamson’s second season out of Duke has come to an end. While he offers a ton of upside, we have yet to see his team play truly winning basketball out west. Though it is Stan Van Gundy’s first year in New Orleans, we have to wonder when the Pelicans are going to pop with Williamson as its best player. The generational talent has to get it done in 2022 or else.
Overall, the Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings are the only two teams in the Western Conference outside of the play-in tournament bubble who have a shot at getting in. Other teams such as the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder have been mostly total grease fires this season. While we wanted to see Williamson keep playing, his year is done.
Here is to the 2021-22 Pelicans becoming next year’s Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks.