Three players that will need to step up in Zion Williamson's absence

Apr 16, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) is is
Apr 16, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) is is / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Sacramento Kings in a win-or-go-home play-in game on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Pelicans superstar, do-it-all forward, Zion Williamson, will have to miss the biggest game of the season.

Williamson limped to the locker room in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and the big man will not suit up for Friday's game against Sacramento.

The Pelicans dominated the Kings this season. New Orleans was 4-0 against Sacramento (5-0 if you count the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals) this season, winning by an average of 19.2 points per game. No player was more key to that success than Zion Williamson.

With Zion unable to play, New Orleans will have to make up his offensive impact elsewhere. He is irreplaceable by one player on his own, but undoubtedly other players will need to take a leap on Friday night. Here are three players that will need step up in Zion's absence.

1. Brandon Ingram

Ingram missed the last month of the season with a banged up knee, and he will for sure be playing through pain on Friday night. The lanky swingman looked like himself in Sunday's matchup against the Lakers, but he labored through Tuesday night's game looking like a shell of himself. The offensive load is going to be squarely on Ingram's shoulders.

Sacramento's weakness on the defensive end lies on the wing and in the paint, two places where Ingram can score at will when he's at his best. If Zion is unable to go, New Orleans will play a more perimeter-oriented style on offense and Ingram should feast. His struggles and frustrations are well-documented, but he's paid for moments like this. Brandon Ingram is the second banana on the Pelicans when everyone is healthy, but on Friday night he'll get top billing.