Zion Williamson May Have Minutes Restriction

The Pelicans will consider a minutes restriction for rookie forward Zion Williamson if their season resumes, head coach Alvin Gentry said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Williamson was one of the most eagerly anticipated rookies in years, but he played just 19 games before the hiatus because of a knee injury that delayed his debut until late January. He was placed on a minutes restriction at the time, but it was removed after a few games. Gentry said the team’s medical staff will re-evaluate Williamson and several other players if a restart date is announced for the season.

“It will be something that we talk about when we do resume and as far as how it looks for Zion from a minute standpoint, and we’ll do that really with some of the other players,” Gentry said. “This is unprecedented, really. You play in a basketball game, you play 60 games and then all of a sudden the season ends, and then now it’s going to start back up. So, this is going to be something that is different for every single player that has ever played in the NBA or is playing in the NBA now.”

Although fans in New Orleans only got a brief look at Williamson, he lived up to expectations by averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per night while shooting 58.9% from the field. He helped the Pelicans overcome a slow start and inch their way toward playoff contention by the time the season was halted.

“I still think that in all the years that I’ve been in the league, I’ve never seen anyone that has a second jump like this kid,” Gentry added. “It’s amazing how he can hit the ground and be back up before anyone is really reacting to the first move that he had. I would say that’s been a pleasant surprise in those areas right there. I think what we found out is that he’s an excellent passer, also. I think as he gets more comfortable handling a basketball, that’s going to be an area that everyone sees that he can be an elite guy from the position that he’s playing right there.

“He’s such a good guy, just from a teammate standpoint, that I knew our guys would be pulling for him. Our guys have embraced the fact that he’s a guy that we can finish games with, he’s a guy that we can go to when we need a basket, and he’ll make the right play.”

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13 thoughts on “Zion Williamson May Have Minutes Restriction

  1. El Don

    Zion has been the best rookie in years, the guy is an absolute beast! He will dominate the league for years to come! Can’t wait to see him play again!

      • El Don

        Morant only played more games, Zion has been like 10 better in the time he played, you can’t even compare dude. Zion is been a monster, Morant has been just good, nothing special at all, right?

        • Simmons>Russ

          I think it’s hard to compare dude to Zion not playing much but Ja took Memphis from a bad team to a playoff team.
          Zion has Lonzo Holiday and all star Brandon Ingram and they aren’t a playoff team.

          Ja didn’t put up Zions numbers but his impact on the team I think was greater and it’s just hard to judge 60 games to 20 games.

          As for best rookie year, Luka had a better rookie year. Zions year was like Joel Embiid rookie year. Joel only played 30 games but put up 20-8-2-2.5-1, in only 25 minutes per game.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    How soft is that… he’s already sat out something like 50/60 games and then when he did play he was pretty good and after having 3 months of with coronavirus they want to put him on a minutes restriction. Will the dude ever average over 30 minutes per game for an entire season ….

    • jellbuc

      That’s the issue. He couldn’t hold up to a college schedule at 18 no way he turns into a 70+ game guy.

  3. Strange. The layoff should benefit someone his age coming off an injury. Is this load management for his body or insurance for the team against the economic consequences of him getting hurt? Kid has a career and legacy to build. League has an interest in that too. At some point, the league has to look at this.

  4. El Don

    It actually mentions that the minutes restriction will be evaluated for many other players in the Pels, not just Zion.
    But agree with DXC Zion must play more, not this season but from next, he deserves the chance to dominate the league!

  5. joeyrocafella

    A minutes limit?? He’s had almost 2 months off after having another month that off. Soft players will always stay soft. He’ll eat his way outta the league in 4 years

    • tomjoadsghost

      Good thing you don’t run an NBA team. You would of had MJ out there with broken foot in 1986, could of ruined his career. NO isn’t in the playoffs so this doesn’t matter.

  6. JohnTheSportsFanatic

    Let the kid play. If you keep resting him, your record goes down. Like Stephen A said, just play the guy

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