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Home / Sport / Pelicans cheated on Zion Williamson’s minute limit during the crisis and it cost them victory

Pelicans cheated on Zion Williamson’s minute limit during the crisis and it cost them victory



Let’s not overestimate that. There are no offensive offenses, grotesque coaches’ incompetence, or match-worthy arguments for the New Orleans Pelicans staging their NBA kick-off against the Utah Jazz.

However, refusing to play Zion Williamson for most of the fourth quarter, which turned 106-104, was still a fundamental mistake. Minute limits are great. Entering the eight-game bubble that New Orleans doubles as a certain season, and then increasing the chances of winning even one of those games – isn’t there.

If you’re risking the health of players and you could get infected with the virus that shut down most of 2020, and that’s exactly the reality of the beauty of basketball returns, you’re playing to win.

You are not sitting in Zion. Not in the fourth quarter. Not like a four-point advantage turns into a fight with dogs and ultimately a heartbreaking loss.

Sitting in Zion Williamson on Thursday night was unfair, perhaps expensive and cannot be repeated in the remaining seven matches.

You know the details. Zion was sharp and impressive for his limited action in Orlando, scoring 1

3 points in 15 minutes and praising behind the back assistant. But the Pelicans have always been more than just Zion’s stats.

When he is on the floor, he feels a treacherous feeling and self-confidence, as his presence, thanks to Zion, brings that organization significantly closer to something that can be just down the road.

Brandon Ingram, who blossomed in All Stars in Big Light, has a chance to be really great.

Lonzo Ballas, freed from the clutter of LeBron James and the splendor and pressure of Los Angeles and the Lakers, became a true floor general. JJ Redick remains a major veteran and shooter. Josh Hart has his feet up. Jrue Holiday may be the third best player on the team.

But that team is built for and around Zion, and in important important games – like Thursday night – he has to play. Organizations facing big moments and the likelihood of success, whether unlikely or limited, have to deflate something by choosing to plant their own star.

The caution is great. There is no giving up or giving up on success.

Participants may not be the same, but Washington citizens did the same in 2012, when they refused to play Stephen Strasbourg. Yes, he spent the year 2011 performing Tommy John surgery. He also went 15-6 before playing in the playoffs after a 3.16 ERA and 197 strokes from 159 game divisions.

The nationalists lost the NLDS, but the real failure was what told the promising team – the news that a guy who can help and be the key won’t get that chance. This is self-deception. This is unbearable. And that’s the wrong head.

The consequences were certainly less significant on Thursday night, but the effects were the same. No, if New Orleans somehow claim 9th place, beat the apparently Grizzlies twice, they’re not going to beat the Lakers in a seven-game series and go to champion glory.

But that is not the goal. Compensation for the games and the critical experience missed over the last four months, the growth of a young, promising team and the practical lessons Zion can learn from its season by playing in them are just the goals. They are invaluable.

Stopping that ninth place and tasting that sense of success is the basis. Playing – and maybe beating – Memphis earns a place twice in a seven-game series is a ladder step you have to climb to eventually become a champion. Even belonging to the Lakers, broom or otherwise, teaches lessons and leaves a sense of failure and hunger that you want the young team to know.

But to get to the place, you need to win games. Especially when there are only eight of them, and a completely healthy Portland team – plus Phoenix and Sacrament – compete for the same.

So anyway protect Zion Williamson from the game for 38 minutes. But also protect him from recklessness if you don’t let him finish this game, even if the last four or five minutes.

If he could play – and could – he would have been there to the end. Everything else is a waste of his time and talent, and of all those who have chosen to get into the “bubble” despite the risks and difficulties involved.

They came to win. Next time let them.




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