Zion Williamson is not expected to have significant playing time in the next two games of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The GM and executive vice president of the team, David Griffin, made the revelation while speaking to reporters on Friday.
“I appreciate the fact that everyone wants him to play 40 minutes every night. I can promise you he’s not going to. No mistakes were made yesterday with how this was handled other than by me coming forward and expressing this in the clearest way possible.
This isn’t complicated. He will not play significant minutes in the next game, and he may not in the following game. This is all about the ramp-up time. He didn’t get the benefit of the things that his teammates got for those 13 days. This is going to take some time.
Conditioning is a word everybody uses. It’s really about the ramp-up. It’s what our performance team was doing for a load management standpoint for every member of our roster. If you go back and look at the box scores from those scrimmages, there was a reason why they played the minutes they did, and he didn’t get the benefit of that.
Unfortunately, the nature of this setup with these seeding games, our schedule doesn’t allow us to play 5-on-5 in between. The only way we can get him that simulation is during those games. I realize it’s really detrimental to be doing what we’re attempting to do, which is make the playoffs.
But, if we’re going to have him at full strength to go through these games, the only thing we can do is go through this process. There isn’t any other alternative,” Griffin said, per Nola.com.
The Pelicans will face the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies in the next two seeding games.