After missing all of last season following foot surgery, Zion Williamson didn’t want to let a little ankle tweak keep him from playing in the Pelicans opener Wednesday.
After going through a full practice on Monday, Zion made his intentions clear.
Zion: "I'm playing Wednesday."
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) October 17, 2022
Williamson played in four preseason games for the Pelicans and moved well, even if at times he looked like he was still adjusting to being back and a new roster of teammates. He played a little over 17 minutes a game and averaged 11.3 points on 50% shooting. What gave hope were the flashes of his vintage self.
ALLOW Z TO REINTRODUCE HIMSELF. pic.twitter.com/QWH0SnOVSo
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 5, 2022
“You’ve seen guys at that size, 6-7, that can get up and down the floor and move, but not at that level, though,” Durant said after Monday’s practice. “You’ve seen guys like Jason Maxiell, I’m not saying they jump as high as Zion, but they were undersized guys that played bigger. And Zion’s one of those guys. Rodney Rogers — I’m missing so many guys that were that tall at 6-6, Charles Barkley bruiser-type guys but played bigger. But Zion’s athleticism trumps all of theirs by far. And when you add that to the mix, it makes him a one of one.”
The Pelicans vs. Nets Wednesday will be a fascinating chess match of matchups as neither side has the defenders to really slow the other. The only thing we can predict for sure out of that game is Zion is playing.