The New Orleans Pelicans once sat atop the Western Conference standings after a statement road win over the Phoenix Suns. Zion Williamson was making the type of impact many expected he’d be capable of achieving. There was a lot of NBA season left to play, meaning there was no shortage of time left for the situation to unravel.
Williamson sustained a hamstring injury on Jan. 2 and never returned to the lineup for the remainder of the regular season, which ultimately ended his season with 29 games played. He averaged 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 29 games while shooting 60.8 percent from the floor. What caused him to miss so much time?
An important piece of context to remember, Williamson was never cleared to play 5-on-5. However, there is a sense within the Pelicans organization that the 22-year-old has “a lot he can do better” to stay available for his team. The organization plans to evaluate the situation as a whole.
“I wish I could immediately pinpoint the answer. I think a big part is on him,” Pelicans president of basketball operations David Griffin said. “I think there is a lot he can do better. And he would, I think, tell you that. I think we need to do a better job examining the whole situation top to bottom a little bit better.”