On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans (0-1) will be playing their second preseason game against the Houston Rockets (1-0) at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST). This will also mark their second (and final) home preseason game of the 2023-24 cycle.
That’s all good and well, but we’re sure the reason that the real reason that fans are tapping into a game with no playoff implications is to get a look at their franchise cornerstone, Zion Williamson (who, by the way, was recently disrespected by ESPN).
Will he be suiting up for his second preseason game? As of right now, it seems like the answer is yes. He is currently not listed on the Pelicans injury report. So, unless the team ends up making him a late scratch for rest purposes (we wouldn’t blame them, given the nature of the game), look for Williamson to play tonight.
The same can be said about the other four starters: Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas, and Herbert Jones. You should also expect to see fan favorites like Naji Marshall, Dyson Daniels, and rookie Jordan Hawkins.
However, you will not be seeing Trey Murphy III, who is expected to miss (at least) the first month of the season as he recovers from an offseason surgery on his left meniscus. Larry Nance Jr. and Jose Alvarado also didn’t play in the first preseason game. They likely won’t be appearing in this contest either (their goal is to be available by opening night).
Offseason acquisition Cody Zeller is also on the injury list (back). He missed the preseason opener against the Orlando Magic. But as of right now, his status against Houston is unknown, as he carries the “day-to-day” designation.
Undrafted rookie big man Liam Robbins was also a part of the injury report. Unfortunately, regardless of his health status, he won’t be playing for the Pelicans, as it was announced on Thursday afternoon that the team has parted ways with him (a move we cautioned them against doing).
For those wondering, in his first game in 281 days, Williamson played over 15 minutes and tallied 12 points, five assists, and five rebounds while shooting 4-of-8 from the floor.