Is Zion Williamson playing tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans will play their first of potentially two play-in games tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder. This game is quite literally do-or-die, as a loss would signal the end of the team’s season.

Unfortunately, for the 46th straight time, the team will have to go into battle without their superstar forward, Zion Williamson, who continues to rehab the strained hamstring he suffered on January 2nd against the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Tuesday, Williamson revealed that the obstacle hindering him now was not a physical one, but rather a mental barrier. He doesn’t feel like himself yet, and he won’t be ready to get back on the court until he does.

He’s already been ruled out for the entire play-in tournament. So even if they do manage to beat the Thunder, he will not participate in their second play-in game on Friday (which would be against the Minnesota Timberwolves).

The good news here (in so much that there can be good news when discussing an injury) is that the Pelicans are in the exact same situation they were in last season.

If you’ll recall, last year, the Pelicans finished the year with the ninth-best record in the West and were put in a position where they had to win two play-in games (one against the San Antonio Spurs and one against the Los Angeles Clippers) without Williamson to secure the eighth seed in the conference.

Of course, they were ultimately able to pull off the feat before pushing the team with the best record in the league last year (the Phoenix Suns) to six games in the first round.  Let’s see if they can capture lightning in the bottle twice.

On the year, the Pelicans have a 3-1 record against the Thunder – including a 2-1 record in their meetings against them without Williamson.

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark