Was Zion Williamson's Injury A Blessing In Disguise For The Pelicans?

Ernesto Cova

Zion Williamson was the most hyped prospect since LeBron James and one of the most anticipated players in NBA history. While he's proven just why when he's been able to be on the floor, that hasn't happened very often throughout his young career.

Durability concerns and takes about his weight raised plenty of questions about his ability to be a successful player in the league. Fast-forward to today, and he has more missed games than career appearances (85) in the NBA.

The Pelicans Are Getting Better

However, even if the New Orleans Pelicans need their franchise player to succeed, they're slowly starting to gain momentum with Williamson on the shelf.

They're 12-10 after a dreadful start to the season, they're getting healthier, and Zion's absence has opened up the door for other players to showcase their value.

The Pelicans won't be a playoff team this year and maybe not even the next, but their project is finally starting to take shape, or at least so it seems.

Willie Green Is Proud Of The Team

The young Pelicans have shown plenty of fight as of late, getting past the struggles with COVID-19 and putting in a lot of effort against better teams.

Coach Willie Green believes that character has been the biggest virtue for that squad:

“It’s unbelievable, the character with this group. … I’m proud of them, we stuck with it, and it’s next man up. We go into games believing we can give ourselves a chance if we take care of the basketball and share it,"_ Green said, per Sportscasting.

Herb Jones Is Breaking Out

More than that, Zion's absence has helped the Pelicans find a bit of a diamond in the rough.

Herbert Jones continues to make the most of every single opportunity he gets, and those averages of 8.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game are trending up at a drastic rate.

Jones has been physical, poised, and has improved his decision-making and outside shooting with every single game. And, while he's not superstar material, he's proven to be the kind of hardnosed competitor all teams need to succeed.

What's Next For Zion?

Zion has yet to play this season and has suffered multiple setbacks in his recovery from a foot injury.

More concerning, some claim that he continues to gain weight and that he's even fallen asleep during film sessions and has skipped several rehab sessions.

The Pelicans might as well consider shutting him down for the season already and try to work out a plan with him so he can get back into playing shape before suffering another injury.

While there's no denying that he's a unique specimen and a special kind of talent, he'll go down as yet another huge bust unless he starts taking care of his body.