Significant injury news keeps popping up for the New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson early in his NBA career, and it will impact his team against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 22. As the Bulls take on the Pelicans in their home opener on the night of Oct. 22 at the United Center, second-year head coach Billy Donovan won’t have to worry about dealing with Zion.
Multiple reports surfaced last week that indicated that Zion would miss at least the first few games of the regular season slate for the Pelicans. And nothing has emerged that would indicate differently as the Pelicans hit the road to travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls heading into this weekend.
Ahead of the start of the regular season, Zion had surgery to repair a right foot fracture. And while it looked at the time of the procedure that he could return by the start of the regular season, the recovery timeline was extended out a bit of late.
Some of the latest reports indicate that Zion is going to be re-evaluated about one week from now by team doctors to check on his progress. At that point, the Pelicans could see Zion make his season debut for them.
Chicago Bulls will face the Pelicans without Zion Williamson in the home opener
For now, the Bulls will take on the Pelicans in their home opener only having to worry about defending half of the star forward duo of Zion and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans were definitely limited offensively in their regular season opener, also on the night of Oct. 20 (same night as the Bulls’ opener), in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers by a convincing 20-point margin.
The Pelicans had a major overreliance on Ingram, who registered a game-high 25 points on a whopping 26 field goal attempts. If the Bulls can continue to make the Pelicans one-dimensional on offense and force an overreliance on making Ingram take tough shots, this could be a nice win in the home opener.
The next time that the Bulls and Pelicans meet, for the second of two matchups this season, who knows what the situation in NOLA will look like concerning Zion. It feels like there is a situation brewing where either the Pelicans, Zion, or both sides will not be happy with this relationship.
Coming into this game, the Bulls are sporting a record of 1-0 following their win in the regular season opener on the road on Oct. 20 over the Detroit Pistons, by the final score of 94-88. Tip-off time between the Bulls and Pelicans in the home opener at the United Center on Oct. 22 is set for 7 p.m. CT.