Pelicans roster depth will be tested with Zion Williamson, Ingram injuries

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans had their home opener ruined by a feisty Jazz team led by Lauri Markkanen and injuries to stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Ingram went out after a collision with teammate Naji Marshall, came back briefly, but had to leave again after playing just 11 minutes. He was reportedly being evaluated for a concussion, which is always scary.

Zion hit the court on a block attempt by Jordan Clarkson and all of the life was sucked out of the Smoothie King Center for a minute as the crowd waited for Zion to get up. He too had to leave the game and didn’t return with what is now being called a hip contusion.

Related Story. The Victor Wembanyama watch has already started. light

It doesn’t appear that either injury is serious, but they are both listed as day-to-day, so we’ll know more tomorrow when the Pelicans update their injury report. The Pels rallied around their injured stars and nearly pulled off the improbable comeback after trailing by as many as 17 in the 4th quarter. They came up just short, but this team fights.

Unfortunately, this is a familiar position for Pelicans’ fans, as it seems like something like this happens every time they get rolling. Luckily, this season the Pels have more depth to withstand injuries, so if Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram do have to miss time, they have other players who can step up.

Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson injuries will test the Pelicans’ roster

Obviously, the best-case scenario is that both players are fine by tomorrow and play against Dallas, but it seems more likely that one or both will be out, especially with the Pels not having another game until Friday, so New Orleans’ depth will be tested.

CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones will still be in the starting five but who is going to join them? If both Zion and BI are out for a short time, we could see this starting lineup:

  • CJ McCollum
  • Trey Murphy III
  • Herb Jones
  • Naji Marshall
  • Jonas Valanciunas

TMIII has been red-hot and seems like the most likely candidate to move into the starting five and Willie Green has used Marshall in this position in the past, but we may see a lot of different combinations.

Jaxson Hayes has also returned from injury and could be in the starting lineup at the power forward spot, though he was playing well with the second unit in preseason. We could also see Larry Nance Jr. in that spot, so coach Willie Green has a lot of options.

Devonte’ Graham may need to play more minutes off the bench, and we could see minutes from rookie Dyson Daniels as coach Green tries to figure out what works without his two stars.

Hopefully Zion and BI will be back soon, but the Pelicans do have more depth than they have had in the past and now it is going to get put to the test.

Next. NBA Season Awards: Odds and predictions for the Pelicans. dark