NBA’s 2019-2020 season has restarted after 141 days of forced stop due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s causing many reactions since day 1. Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans squared up for the first ever NBA game in Disney, and the Jazz came up with the big win in the end.
It was a good game to watch, we had been waiting for that for a long time, fans and bookies, we were all equally happy to see the NBA coming back and even more after confirming the news that there were zero Covid-19 cases inside the bubble after the last couple of testing rounds, which of course means that everything is going as planned and we’ll hopefully be able to see the season ending we were all waiting for.
However, if you watched the game, you probably noticed that New Orleans Pelicans favorite and newest superstar, Zion Williamson, wasn’t allowed to contribute too much for his team, as he was limited to 15 minutes of play only. Now, remember that Zion missed the first 43 games of the season due to injury and he came back in late January and played 19 games before the season stopped.
In those 19 games the rookie had limited minutes as well, as a precaution, but now, 5 months later, well rested and training properly, many felt upset by the team’s decision to sit the rookie down for the last 7 minutes of the game, a game they were winning and ended up losing, and where Williamson could have made a difference.
Nobody knows, but the Pelicans’ doctors, to be honest. We do know Zion had to leave the bubble a couple of weeks ago and then he had to go on quarantine once he came back. But is that enough reason to still give him 15 minutes only, even if his team needed him when the Jazz took the lead with just under 7 seconds to go in the game?
Coach Alvin Gentry was asked about this when the game ended, and he said, “we used the minutes that were given to us and that’s the way it is”, meaning the medical staff. When Zion himself was asked about this he said, “it’s not even just conditioning” but getting back his flow and feel for the game. “I don’t want to hurt my team more than I helped them in a sense, if you understand me”, Williamson said.
The one thing we know for sure is that the Pelicans need all the help they can get, as they are out of the playoffs right now, 3.5 games behind the 8th spot, the Grizzlies, and with Portland and San Antonio in between, with just 7 more games to go, as we all know.
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