We have already gotten a sneak peek at Zion’s capabilities in the NBA when he briefly played in the summer league and preseason. Today, at 6:30 Pacific Standard Time, we’ll finally be able to watch Zion play again when the Pelicans take on the Spurs tonight. Zion has been sitting out for the first three and a half months recovering from a torn meniscus. It is said that he is 100% healthy after taking some added time off. Although, now is not the time to rejoice knowing that he’s back. As fans of Zion and the game of basketball, we must continue to remain patient. Of course, as cautious as the Pelicans have been, we won’t get to see too much of him on the court tonight. He’ll be on a minutes restriction that won’t exceed 15-20 minutes. That should not be a considered a downside to Zion’s return to the hardwood.
With Zion’s return–pending his health moving forward–we have the opportunity to watch him play not just tonight, but on a consistent basis for many seasons to come. His minutes will rise along with the Pelicans staff’s confidence in his knee. For now, Zion and the Pelicans can actually afford to take more time getting Zion’s knee acclimated as the Pelicans have completely turned their season around. Since they stopped the bleeding on a 13-game losing streak, they have gone 11-5 in their past 16 games, becoming one of the hottest teams in the league. Brandon Ingram has been leading the team in all ways that he can as he continues a career year that may get him Most Improved Player honors. Also, the help of Lonzo Ball’s game surging to a higher level has been a major key in the Pelican’s success. Zion returning will help take a load off of BI while helping elevate Lonzo’s game elevate to the level we have been waiting to see out of him since he was drafted. Zion may not have much energy sitting on the bench as we’ve seen him dose off a couple times in just the past month, but his energy is as dynamic as anyone’s when he’s on the floor.
We can expect to see Zion take it as easy as a ball of fire can tonight but moving forward, we’ll be watching a generational talent. He is expected to have his ups and downs early but do not allow that to cause any second guessing in his abilities. There is a reason why the hype on Zion has always been in comparison to Lebron’s. There is a reason why Zion continues to deliver despite the intense pressure on his shoulders to be great. Zion is exactly what we all want and expect him to be. Tonight, for the time that he’s on the court, expect a thrilling show. Matter of fact, expect it every single time the Pelicans play with him in the lineup. He has proved his doubters wrong too many times before to stop proving them wrong now. The Pelicans are officially a spectacle to watch.