Their star player will be out for at least a few more weeks due to a right hamstring injury that he suffered at the start of the year.
He is arguably the most important player for the Pels, averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists a game on 60.8% from the field.
Despite losing all that power, the Pelicans have still been strong in his absence.
The team is currently 3rd in the West with a 26-17 record.
Jonas Valanciunas since Zion’s injury:
– 21.0 PPG
– 11.5 RPG
– 60.8% FG
– 84.8% FT
In under 30 minutes per game🔥 pic.twitter.com/HsyJlcI2PY
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) January 14, 2023
One of the major reasons why the team has stayed in fighting shape is Jonas Valanciunas, who has stepped up when his team has needed him most.
The Lithuanian big man has been averaging 21 points and 11.5 rebounds on 60.8% from the field and 84.8% from the free-throw line since Williamson went down and left the game.
He is doing all of this in under 30 minutes per game too, making it all the more impressive.
A few years ago, losing Williamson would be a death sentence for the team.
But the roster has been slowly but surely improving over the last few years, and Valanciunas is part of that.
He gained a lot of fans during his time with the Toronto Raptors and the Memphis Grizzlies but really started to shine brighter than ever once he landed in New Orleans.
His career average is 13.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, which are obviously less than what he is currently doing in Williamson’s absence.
He is proof that the Pelicans are more than their biggest star.
They might not have Williamson but thanks to guys like Valanciunas they still have a lot of fight and a good chance of going far.