After suffering a tough overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Pelican’s coach Alvin Gentry was asked to comment on how Zion looked on the court conditioning-wise. Zion played in his first back-to-back of the season and was honest in letting the media know that it took him a while to get going.
These questions came from the fact that he looked a bit sluggish in the first part of the game. Even his teammates were confused, and Williamson said that Lonzo came to him and said: “It’s time for you to wake up.”
After the game, head coach Gentry was short and clear about Zion and all the fear that surrounds him and his injuries.
“I think he’s fine. We worry about him too freakin’ much, OK? He’s fine. He’s 19 years old. He’ll be fine.”
Gentry is realistic and knows that bad games are a normal thing for a rookie. In his short stint in a league, Williamson showcased a unique talent, and of course, everybody is following his every move. So coach downplayed it and let everybody know that for a young guy it is perfectly normal to play two games in two nights.
Zion played 35 minutes and had 21 points, but he had to earn those points as Mavericks were prepared for him. They used Maxi Kleber as a primary defender with Kristaps Porzingis protecting the rim. This made Zion more uncomfortable and wasn’t able to get in his groove for the majority of the game. They lost that game, but the Pelicans bounced back in last night’s win against the Miami Heat in which Zion scored 17 points.
Pelicans need to keep playing hard because they are currently four games away from the 8th seed Memphis Grizzlies. They are hunting for a spot in a playoff, so playing Zion in back-to-back games is something Pelicans will have to do.