Zion Williamson’s latest injury shows Pelicans have the worst luck ever

Zion Williamson was playing his best possible game at the best possible time as he helped his New Orleans Pelicans erase a big lead from the Los Angeles Lakers in the closing minutes of the 2024 NBA play-in tournament. That’s when disaster struck: Williamson exited the game with a left hamstring injury with 3:13 left and the score tied.

The Lakers beat the Pelicans, 110-106, to clinch the No. 7 seed in the West in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. The Lakers’ prize is a first round matchup with the reigning champion Denver Nuggets.

The Pelicans still have one more chance to qualify for the playoffs when they take on the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Unfortunately for New Orleans, Williamson won’t be in the lineup for that elimination game. The star forward has been ruled out for the play-in finale.

Even if New Orleans wins, it sounds like Williamson won’t be available to start a potential first round series against the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s a devastating blow for the Pelicans just as they were finally getting the chance to prove how good they could be in the postseason.

The Pelicans trailed by 18 points against the Lakers in the second half on Tuesday. Williamson powered the comeback by looking like the explosive rim scorer he was always supposed to be. Zion finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in 36 minutes. It’s such a shame that he wasn’t able to finish the game. Watch highlights from Williamson’s performance here:

Williamson has never played in the NBA Playoffs. That’s mostly because he’s rarely been available before this season because of injuries.

Williamson played 70 games this season, the most in his NBA career. After missing the entire 2021-2022 season, he played only 29 games last season and was injured for the playoffs. He played 24 games as a rookie back in 2019-2020, and 61 games in his second season.

The Pelicans have showed great promise since draft Williamson at No. 1 overall in 2019, but they never have their full roster available when it matters. Williamson’s injury issues are a big part of that. Whether New Orleans can beat the Kings to playoffs or not, we still don’t know what this team looks like when in the postseason at full strength.

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