The Washington Wizards won’t get a chance to face off against Zion Williamson in his rookie season.
The Washington Wizards need a win. Halfway through the seeding games, they are 0-4, joining the Memphis Grizzlies as the only winless teams in the bubble. Luckily, the Wizards have a good chance at getting their first bubble win vs. the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that’s won just one of their four bubble games.
And the Wizards’ chances of winning got even better when Shams Charania announced that Zion Williamson would not be playing for the Pelicans when they take on the Wizards.
If you’re worried about Zion being sidelined with another injury during his rookie season, don’t be. Zion is sitting out for rest. The contest vs. the Wizards is the second of a back-to-back for the Pelicans. They lost the first of the two games 140-125 to the Kings.
Unless some contenders start resting stars towards the end of the seeding games, this is the most winnable of the Wizards’ final four games. With matchups vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics remaining, the Pelicans are the only remaining Wizards’ opponent with a losing record.
Their chances of winning are even better now that they don’t have to deal with Zion, who is averaging 22.4 points and 6.2 assists for the season. In the bubble, he’s averaged 16.8 points and 3.5 rebounds through four games.
I don’t blame Zion for wanting to sit this one out for “rest.” Getting exposed by Rui Hachimura would shatter the mythology around the eventual Rookie of the Year winner. It wouldn’t be the first time Hachimura bested him, either. Hachimura defeated the phenom in their one head to head matchup in college, an 89-87 Gonzaga win over Duke.
So I get it. Protect the brand. Rest up. Hopefully, we see ya next year, Zion.
This will be the Wizards’ first game vs. the Pelicans this season. The two teams never played each other before the season was put on hold in March. Even without Zion in the lineup, this should be an excellent measuring-stick game for the Wizards.
The Wizards, who are using the bubble to develop their young group of players, will get to see how their youth matches up against one of the NBA’s most promising young cores. While not as young as the bubble Wizards, about half of the Pelicans’ bubble rotation is 25 years old or younger.
Tonight’s game begins at 8 p.m. You can watch it on Fubo.tv.
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