Zion Williamson’s NBA debut has been delayed by a knee injury, and it won’t happen against the Detroit Pistons on Monday but should come this week.
Zion Williamson is the reason Detroit Pistons fans had Monday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans circled when the schedule came out.
That excitement has dwindled as Williamson suffered a knee injury so his long-anticipated debut has continued to be put on hold. Williamson began 5-on-5 drills last week with the Pelicans, according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez, and is set to make his NBA debut on Thursday against the Utah Jazz, according to Sirius XM’s Mitch Lawrence.
Williamson was selected first overall by the Pelicans last June. He was the most transcendent star college basketball has ever seen and the NBA anticipates similar buzz around the league’s most-anticipated player since LeBron James in 2003.
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An official injury report released Sunday night listed Williamson out along with teammates Kenrich Williams and Darius Miller. New Orleans added J.J. Redick as out, downgraded Jrue Holiday to doubtful and listed Derrick Favors questionable. Brandon Ingram was also added to the report on Monday as questionable. The Pistons injury report is familiar with Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin and Khyri Thomas all out.
Detroit (14-26) has had injury issues of its own, losing Blake Griffin to his second knee surgery in eight months last week. It comes on the heels of an All-NBA season, which willed the Pistons to the playoffs.
The Pelicans (14-26) have also had issues with injuries, missing Lonzo Ball, Favors and others throughout the course of the season. They’ve still been an exciting watch with Ingram having a breakout campaign and Holiday continuing his excellent play.
While his minutes have been consistent with season’s past, Ingram’s numbers have bumped up to career-highs in points (25.1), rebounds (6.8), assists (4.2) and steals (1.0) per game this season. He’s also seen a bump in shots, averaging 18.5 per game, and is shooting a career-best 40.7% this season.
Monday’s game will feature some of the Pelicans young talent and also the Pistons with Sekou Doumbouya, Bruce Brown and Christian Wood. It could be a fraction of what’s to come years down the road in the NBA.