The Pelicans blew a 12-point halftime lead and found themselves tied with roughly 30 seconds to go, coming out of a timeout, and where was their best player?
Oh, Zion Williamson, well, he was riding the bench, as he had been for the majority of the quarter.
Williamson, in fact played only 15 minutes in the game. He didn’t play at all for the second half of the fourth quarter, a decision that can be viewed as questionable at best.
Sure, the Pelicans need to make sure their young superstar is healthy for years to come, but at the same time, they had an opportunity to get him valuable playoff minutes — in a close game in crunch time, no less — yet chose otherwise.
The Pelicans went on to lose the game, 106-104, putting a big damper on their chances to challenge for the 8-seed in the Western Conference. As a result, head coach Alvin Gentry was questioned why Zion played so little, and he had this to say.
Twitter was not kind to Gentry, as you might imagine, in giving him the meme treatment.
All jokes aside, it probably wasn’t Gentry’s decision to make, and instead came from above — general manager David Griffin, his colleagues and the medical staff.