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After an offseason that produced plenty of hope — Devonte’ Graham and Jonas Valanciunas were brought in through trade while Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe were shipped out, Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones were selected in the draft and Willie Green was hired as the new head coach — the Pelicans 2021-22 season may already be cratering even though the calendar just flipped to November.
New Orleans is off to a dreadful 1-6 start, sharing the cellar in the Western Conference with the OKC Thunder before Tuesday’s slate of games, and Zion Williamson’s return from right foot surgery remains without a definitive timetable. The hope is he’ll be ready to help the team starting around Thanksgiving, but that’s not a given.
While I don’t subscribe to social media hot takes, especially of the doom and gloom variety, it’s hard to dismiss the dark clouds hanging over New Orleans. Just consider how national media personalities are currently reacting to the timing and manner of the release of Zion’s foot injury.
Brian Windhorst on latest Hoop Collective podcast:— Oleh Kosel (@OlehKosel) November 2, 2021
"Things aren't good in New Orleans right now. With all due respect to everybody, they have completely, totally, utterly, inexplicably botched how they've communicated the Zion Williamson injury. There's no other way to put it."
Marc Spears also weighed in on how Zion Williamson's injury news was handled on the latest Hoop Collective episode.— Oleh Kosel (@OlehKosel) November 2, 2021
Hard to disagree with a single thing he says, right? pic.twitter.com/ZNdv3tMYd9
On a personal level, I’m not ready to give up on this season. We’re seven games in. That doesn’t even account for 10% of the schedule. Posting a handful of victories while Zion’s out and then making a sprint similar to the Pels nice 22-14 run before the pandemic shut down the 2019-20 regular season seems doable enough if the team’s chemistry improves a little more on the court and the rest of the key players largely stay healthy.
However, I don’t want to influence you any further on this matter. So what say you, do you believe in your heart of hearts that the Pelicans 2021-22 season is already over?
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