Pelicans news: Zion Williamson speaks out on playing only 15 minutes vs Jazz
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Pelicans’ Zion Williamson speaks out on playing only 15 minutes vs Jazz

Zion Williamson, Pelicans, Jazz

In their first seeding game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday, New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson played a mere 15 minutes. Concerns about his health and conditioning were behind the move, but Williamson shut these worries down.

Per Ben Golliver of The Washington Post, Zion Williamson shared that him playing limited minutes is a way to slowly get back his rhythm. In their 106-104 loss to the Jazz, Williamson chipped in 13 points and one assist. All-Star Brandon Ingram led the team with 23 points, followed by JJ Redick’s 21 markers, and Jrue Holiday’s 20 points.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry admitted that they wanted to play Zion Williamson longer. However, the medical team reminded Gentry of the allowed minutes per game for the rookie.

To recall, Zion Williamson tore his meniscus on October 13, 2019 and underwent surgery. He made his NBA debut in January against the San Antonio Spurs. While he showed great promise in his professional debut, the Pelicans stuck to their guns in limiting his minutes. There have been lingering concerns on his weight, particularly on how it might negatively affect his knees.

From the looks of it, even after the four-month hiatus, the Pelicans are still not taking any chances. Zion Williamson is their prized asset, along with the Pelicans young guns Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans have a chance to make the playoffs — which will greatly help the team’s resolve in the future. But as Gentry reiterated in previous interviews, they aren’t going to take extreme measures to burst their way into the postseason and make a deep run.

The priority is the health and well-being of their players, especially Zion Williamson.

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