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Home / Sport / Pelicans botched Zion Williamson’s one-minute restriction during crisis time and it’s worth a win

Pelicans botched Zion Williamson’s one-minute restriction during crisis time and it’s worth a win



Let’s not get it wrong. There’s no flammable offense, grotesque incompetence in coaching or a brightly deserved argument for the reason the New Orleans Pelicans put the NBA back in focus. against the Utah Jazz.

But the refusal to play Zion Williamson in most of the fourth quarter of what turned into a 106-104 loss was still a crucial mistake. Minute restrictions are good. The entry of eight-game doubles bubbles for New Orleans as a kind of post-season, and then giving your chance to win even one of those games, is not.

If you’re going to risk the health of players and the potential virus infection that has largely closed by 2020 ̵

1; which is exactly the reality behind the return of basketball beauty – you have to play to win.

She does not live in Zion. Not in the fourth quarter. Not as the four-point lead turns to a dog fight and, ultimately, to a loss of heart.

Zion Williamson’s hearing on Thursday evening was bad, potentially costly and cannot be repeated in the remaining seven games.

You know the details. Zion was strong and impressive in his limited action in Orlando, scoring 13 points, and an assistant twice behind his back, in just 15 minutes of action. But the Pelicans have always been more than just Zion stats.

There is a sense of swagger and confidence when he is on the ground because Zion’s presence puts that organization closer to the thing that can only be done on the road.

Brandon Ingram, who blossomed into an All-Star in the Big Easy, has a chance to be really great.

Lonzo Ball, freed from the grinding of games with LeBron James and the glamor and pressure of Los Angeles and the Lakers, has become a real general land. JJ Redick remains a leading veteran and shooter. Josh Hart has his head down. Jrue Holiday could be the third best player on a great team.

But that team is built for and around Zion, and in close games that issue – like on Thursday night – he needs to play. There is something to defend about organizations that encounter big moments and chances of success, whether unlikely or limited, with the option of putting up their star.

Caution is good. Surrender or worry for success does not come.

Shares may not be the same, but Washington Citizens did the same in 2012 when they refused to play Stephen Strasburg in that postseason. Yes, he had failed 2011 with Tommy John surgery. He also went 15-6 before being banked for the playoffs after a 3.16 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 159 pitched innings.

Citizens lost in the NLDS, but the real failure was what he told the promising team, the message that a man who can help and be important doesn’t have that chance. It is self-defeating. It’s overbearing. And it’s thoughtless.

The consequences were certainly less significant on Thursday evening, but the effect was felt the same. No, if New Orleans somehow claims No. 9, beating, presumably, twice the Grizzlies, they won’t be beating the Lakers in a seven-game series and riding for league glory. .

But that is not the goal. Make up for the games and critical experience lost over the past four months, the growth of a young, promising team, and Zion workplace lessons can be learned about the postseason by actually play in them – those things are the goals. And they are very valuable.

Ranking ninth and tasting the sense of success is an important element. Playing – and maybe maybe beating – Memphis twice to earn a spot in a series of seven games is a step on the ladder that you have to climb to eventually be a champion. Even getting Lakers property, swept or otherwise, teaches lessons and leaves a sense of failure and hunger that you want a young team to know.

But you have to win games to get there. Especially when there are only eight of them, and an all-powerful Portland team – along with Phoenix and Sacramento – are catching up for the same thing.

So by all means, protect Zion Williamson from playing 38 minutes on that return. But it also protects him from the extra skill of not letting him finish that game, even if only for the last four or five minutes.

If he could play – and he could – he was supposed to be there for the last time. Everything else is a waste of time and talent, and of all those who have chosen to enter a bubble despite the risks and difficulties associated with them.

They were about to win. Next time, leave them.




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