Is Zion Williamson playing tonight versus the Houston Rockets

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans play the Houston Rockets in Houston for the second time this weekend.

And just like in their first encounter, the Pelicans will again be without their superstar Zion Williamson. This will mark the 34th straight game (and 41st overall) that the team has been without its All-Star forward.

As was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Williamson will be out for at least another two weeks with the hamstring strain he suffered on January 2nd against the Philadelphia 76ers. This update was reported on March 8th. So, at the earliest, Williamson will not be back until March 22nd.

Based on that timetable, his return wouldn’t be until the team’s March 23rd home game against the Charlotte Hornets. If he does come back then, he could theoretically participate in the Pelicans’ last ten games. However, it is more realistic that he only plays in nine of those ten games, as New Orleans would likely rest him on the second leg of back-to-backs (which the team has one more set of remaining on the year).

The Pelicans’ offense has been sorely missing Williamson’s paint-pressuring presence. Since he went down on January 2nd,  New Orleans has been 26th-ranked offense in the league. The only teams ranked lower than them since that date are all teams far out of playoff contention – the Hornets, Rockets, Detroit Pistons, and San Antonio Spurs.

The Pelicans surely could have used Williamson’s offense in their most recent collapse against the Rockets on Friday. In the final frame, they shot an abysmal 7 for 18 from the floor (38.9%) and got outscored 34-22 by the 27th-ranked offense in the entire NBA. Hopefully, history doesn’t repeat itself during tonight’s rematch.

The Pelicans will also be missing the services of Jose Alvarado (tibia) and E.J. Liddell (knee) for tonight’s game. On February 28th, it was stated that Alvarado would be re-evaluated in three weeks. So, that should be taking place sometime around March 21st (right around the time Williamson might be coming back).

Next. New Orleans Pelicans all-time draft bust starting 5. dark