Is Zion Williamson playing tonight against the Sacramento Kings?

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

When the New Orleans Pelicans square off against the Sacramento Kings tonight, they will do so without Zion Williamson. This will mark the 42nd straight game (and 50th overall) that the team has been without their superstar, who has been nursing a strained hamstring injury he suffered on January 2nd against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The above statement is likely a depressing note that Pelicans fans have grown all too accustomed to hearing over the last couple of seasons. However, recent reporting suggests that the light at the end of the tunnel may be coming soon.

Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report noted in a recent article that New Orleans is hopeful that they can get a few regular season games under Williamson’s belt before the start of play-in/playoff festivities. He also said that Williamson is set to be re-evaluated this week to determine if he can return before the end of the regular season.

Shams Charania also mentioned on the Pat McAfee Show that Williamson is now participating in some low-intensity work, including a 3-on-3 scrimmage with some coaches the other day.

At the very least, all these updates mean that he’s the closest he’s been to returning to the court since he initially injured the hamstring.

If the best-case scenario plays out, and the team gets him back for one or two regular season games, they will have the leeway to work him back into the fold steadily, as they are 3.5 games ahead of the eleventh-seeded Dallas Mavericks with only four games left to go.

This means that, barring an epic collapse, they are almost guaranteed a bid at the play-in tournament (to learn more about how the play-in works, check out this post right here).

On top of that, there’s also a real chance that they can clinch a playoff berth without having to go through the play-in hula hoops, as they are only a half-game back from the fifth-seeded Los Angles Clippers (and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them).

No matter how you slice it, this Pelicans team is better when Williamson is on the floor. But based on their standing and recent play (they have won seven of their last eight), they can afford to hold down the fort without him for a little bit longer.

Along with Williamson, the team will also be without Jose Alvarado (tibia) and E.J. Liddell (knee).

Next. Did the Pelicans get the hidden gem of the 2023 class?. dark