New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson missed Tuesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies with a right foot contusion, shutting down what could have been a spectacle between the former No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the 2019 NBA draft. When New Orleans takes to its home floor against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, every Pelicans fan will want to know: Is Zion Williamson playing tonight vs. the Bulls?
Is Pelicans' Zion Williamson playing vs. Bulls
The answer to the glaring question for the 8-win Pelicans may not be what fans had hoped for.
Zion Williamson was listed as out by both Pelicans writer Jim Eichenhofer and NBC Sports Chicago insider K.C. Johnson, leaving the Pelicans with the option of starting either forward Herb Jones or forward Larry Nance Jr. in his place. The Zion-less Pelicans will enter tonight's matchup with a mostly-available rotation, save for forward E.J. Liddell (ACL recovery), guard Kira Lewis Jr. (G-League Assignment) and guard Dereon Seabron (G-League Two-Way Assignment).
The former Duke Blue Devil is averaging 23.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in 11 games played while shooting a career-high 71.6% from the free throw line and 50% from long range.
Though New Orleans will not be able to fully replace Williamson's production, Jones and forward Brandon Ingram combined for 29 points on a 52% field goal percentage against Memphis in forward Jaren Jackson Jr.'s first game back since undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot in late June. The team's depth, as well as their ability to stay cohesive enough to tie with the Portland Trailblazers at 7th in defensive rating, should be enough to push them past a sputtering Bulls team with one win in their last five games.
The Pelicans will tip off against Chicago at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesday in the Smoothie King Center. The game will be broadcasted on Bally Sports New Orleans.