Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Sport https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The Pelicans met Zion Williamson’s minute limit in one step and it cost them a win

The Pelicans met Zion Williamson’s minute limit in one step and it cost them a win

Let’s not exaggerate it. There is no offensive offense, grotesque coaching incompetence or worthy match controversy for the reason the New Orleans Pelicans refused to restart the NBA against the Utah Jazz report.

But refusing to play Zion Williamson for most of the fourth quarter, which turned into a 106-104 loss, was still a crucial mistake. The minute limits are fine. Introducing an eight-game bubble that doubles for New Orleans as a postseason type, and then testing the chance of winning even one of those games, is not.

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

1; which is exactly the reality behind the beauty of basketball’s return – you’re playing to win.

You are not sitting in Zion. Not in the fourth quarter. Not as a four-point lead turns into a dogfight and ultimately to a heartbreaking loss.

Sitting on Zion Williamson on Thursday night was wrong, potentially expensive, and can’t happen again in the seven games left.

You know the details. Zion was sharp and impressive with his limited action in Orlando, scoring 13 points and assists behind him in just 15 minutes of action. But pelicans have always been more than Zion’s statistics.

There is a sense of cunning and confidence when he is on the floor, because Zion’s presence puts this organization much closer to what they can simply get in the way.

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

Lonzo Ball, freed from the game with LeBron James and the brilliance and tension of Los Angeles and the Lakers, has become a true general on the floor. JJ Redick remains a key veteran and shooter. Josh Hart is inverted. Jrue Holiday can be the third best player in a great team.

But this team was created for and around Zion and in nearby games that matter – like Thursday night – he has to play. There is something defiant about organizations that face big moments and chances of success, no matter how unlikely or limited, by choosing to sit on their star.

Attention is fine. Surrender or disagreement for success is not.

The stakes may not be the same, but the Washington national team did the same in 2012 when they refused to play Stephen Strasbourg this season. Yes, he had missed 2011 with Tommy John’s surgery. He also went 15-6 before scoring in the playoffs after a 3.16 ERA and 197 penalties at 159.

The Nationals lost in the NLDS, but the real failure was what he told a promising team, the message that a person who can help and be key will not get that chance. He commits suicide. It’s too much. And it has the wrong head.

The consequences were certainly less significant on Thursday night, but the effect was the same. No, if New Orleans somehow claims a №9 spot, beats, presumably, the Grizzlies twice, they won’t beat the Lakers in a seven-game series and escape to championship glory.

But that is not the goal. By agreeing on the games and critical experience missed over the past four months, growing a young, promising team, and lessons in the workplace, Zion can learn about the postseason by actually playing in them – those are the goals. And they are priceless.

The cliché of this ninth place and the tasting of this sense of success is a building block. The game – and just maybe won – Memphis twice to win a place in a series of seven games, is a step on the ladder that you must climb to be the ultimate champion. Even if you are owned by the Lakers, swept away or otherwise, it 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 a perfectly strong Portland team – plus Phoenix and Sacramento – compete for the same thing.

So in any case, protect Zion Williamson from a game 38 minutes back. But also protect him from the overwhelming stupidity of not allowing him to finish this game, even if only for the last four or five minutes.

If he could play – and he could – he should be there until the end. Everything else is a waste of his time and talent and that of all those who chose to enter the bubble, despite the associated risks and difficulties.

They came to win. Next time let.

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