The New Orleans Pelicans finished the regular season as the ninth seed in the Western Conference.
This may surprise many, mainly because they have been without their best player for most of the season.
Zion Williamson cannot find a way to stay on the court consistently.
He missed all of the 2021-22 season with a foot injury.
Then he only played in 29 games this season.
In those games, Williamson was dominant, averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and shooting 60% from the field.
But, your best ability is availability, and Williamson has been unable to do that.
As the Pelicans get set for the play-in tournament, some hoped that Williamson would be able to play in those games.
According to Shams Charania, that will not be the case.
Charania said the Pelicans do not think Williamson is anywhere close to returning to the court.
"From what I'm told the Pelicans don't think Zion Williamson is even close to getting back on the floor."@ShamsCharania has a sour update for Pelicans fans on the potential return of their star.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) April 10, 2023
The hope of getting him back for the playoffs is essentially gone, and this seems to be another lost season for the former first-overall pick.
When will the pain stop
— AverageNolaFan ⚜️⚜️ (@Manuelgr48) April 10, 2023
Many Pelicans fans are frustrated that their star player cannot play.
Pelicans never said which year's postseason he'd be ready to return for. My bet in on 2026.
— The🐐 (@ClemFandangoEsq) April 10, 2023
In four NBA seasons, Williamson has played a total of 114 games.
His size has made it difficult for him to consistently stay on the floor.
I’m really convinced it’s just conditioning at this point and they don’t want to put him out like that cause ain’t no way https://t.co/3gDjs3lczw
— Pepé Silvia ⚜️ (@SlayYoung23) April 10, 2023
Yet the Pelicans feel that they should continue to keep hope alive for a Williamson return.
Amazing they just won't say out for the season https://t.co/BGZGyn6KHQ
— Jason Maples (@JJMaples55_MST) April 10, 2023
He has shown superstar ability when on the floor, but injuries continue to derail his career.
Charania also mentioned how Williamson could start practicing at some point in the first round of the playoffs.
But, there is no guarantee the Pelicans will even make it that far.
This offseason will be huge for Williamson as he hopes to find a way to keep himself healthy.NEXT: NBA Insider Provides Worrisome Zion Williamson Update