On Tuesday, Williamson opened up to the media about what is holding him back from returning to the court. In his conversation, he said that the hurdle wasn’t so much a physical one, but rather a mental one.
"“When I go to make certain moves, there is that hesitation,” Williamson told media on Tuesday. “Sometimes there’s not and sometimes there is. And I understand the magnitude of these games coming up and I don’t want to be out there hesitating or doing something that may affect my team in a bad way.”"
Williamson has already been ruled out of the play-in tournament. But even if the Pelicans are able to emerge from the play-in tournament with the West’s final playoff spot, Williamson said he will only be able to participate in their first-round series if he feels like himself again.
Williamson also voiced his frustrations with being sidelined during this stretch.
Before Williamson went down with this hamstring injury, the Pelicans looked like a legitimate title contender. On January 3rd, the day after Williamson went down, New Orleans was 23-14 with the best Net Rating (+4.4) in the Western Conference and fourth-best Net Rating in the entire league.
However, since that day, the team has fallen from the top of the conference all the way to the back half of the play-in tournament – where a single loss in the next two outings will effectively end their season.
Overall, Williamson has only appeared in 114 of the 316 games (36%) he’s been eligible to suit up for. That number includes the two play-in games and six playoff games he missed last year.
For his sake (and the sake of the entire organization), we hope that Williamson is able to regain confidence in his body and return to the court soon.
The Pelicans will begin their portion of the play-in tournament tomorrow at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.