Pelicans Lose Another Star To Injury vs. Magic

Zion Williamson, Pelicans, NBA
Apr 3, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detailed view of the hair of New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) against the Orlando Magic during the first half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night was a disastrous one for the New Orleans Pelicans, who now find themselves stuck in the NBA Play-In Tournament. Their loss to the Orlando Magic dropped their record to 45-31, putting them into a tie with the Phoenix Suns, who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to improve to 45-31.

However, because of tiebreakers, the Pelicans find themselves behind the Suns in the Western Conference standings, putting them in seventh place. That was the third consecutive loss for New Orleans, and the fourth in their last five games, and it could not have come at a worse time.

Unfortunately for them, the loss to the Magic wasn’t even the worst thing that happened on Wednesday. New Orleans was also hit with yet another injury, as power forward Zion Williamson was unable to finish the game because of a finger injury.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Zion Williamson & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

“I don’t want to say anything that’s not right, to be honest,” Williamson said. “But yeah, I tweaked it a little bit. I’ll have more information on it [Thursday] morning and I’m going to get it looked at and go from there.”

Williamson had the middle finger on his left hand taped up after the game while he fielded questions from reporters. He revealed that he got hit a few times on the finger, with the first instance possibly being in the second quarter.

When blocking a shot attempt by Jalen Suggs, Williamson hit his hand on the side of the backboard. In the third quarter, Gary Harris slipped while attempting to poke the ball away from Williamson and had his legs cut out from underneath him.

While it was certainly encouraging that he was able to play after those two incidents, it is still troubling that he had to come out of the game early. The score could have played a part, as New Orleans was being blown out, but head coach Willie Green knew there was an issue.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Zion Williamson & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

“He had something going on with his finger,” Green said. “I’m not sure what it is at the moment, but we’ll have an update for you guys soon.”

Williamson ended up playing only 29 minutes in the loss. This will be something to keep an eye on as the Pelicans will be in trouble if Williamson has to miss time. They are already trying to survive without Brandon Ingram, and the results have not been positive.

If the Pelicans want to avoid the NBA Play-In Tournament, they will have opportunities to do so. Four out of their last six games are against teams they are directly competing with and jostling for position with. Winning those would certainly improve their chances of avoiding the NBA Play-In Tournament.

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