Zion Williamson meets Victor Wembanyama in Spurs-Pelicans game

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The arrival of Zion Williamson with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft was evocative of the arrival of Victor Wembanyama with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft. This occurred on December 1.

The arrival of both players into the National Basketball Association was met with an extraordinary amount of anticipation because they were regarded as unique potential.

During the Spurs’ game against the Pelicans on Friday night, the two players who were selected first overall in the past are expected to compete against one another for the first time.

In order to effectively manage the workload of Wembanyama and Williamson, both teams are keeping a long-term perspective.

Gregg Popovich, the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, stated that Wembanyama, who was doubtful due to a sore hip before participating in the Spurs’ home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, which was the Spurs’ thirteenth consecutive loss, might not play on Friday.

Wembanyama, who leads the Spurs in scoring, rebounding, blocks, and steals, concluded the game against Atlanta with 21 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots, and two steals. He did all of this in just 29 minutes.

After the game, he stated that his hip did not cause him any discomfort during the game.

“We’re trying to protect him,” Popovich informed the media. “We’ll see how his hip came out of this one.”

There have been a number of ailments that have hampered Williamson’s availability throughout the beginning of his career, despite the fact that he has been selected to the All-Star team twice.

The fact that Williamson has not missed a single game since the beginning of the season due to an injury is just as encouraging for New Orleans as the fact that he is averaging 24 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists. The season has only been going on for a little over a month.

The most impressive performance of the season was just completed by Williamson. In a home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers by a score of 124-114 on Wednesday, he recorded a season-high 33 points to go along with a season-best 11-of-12 shooting effort from the floor. This was Williamson’s sixth consecutive game in which he scored at least 25 points.

When playing against the Sixers, who were playing without Joel Embiid due to an illness, the Pelicans never trailed, despite the fact that their previous two games were both losses on the road against the Utah Jazz.

Williamson explained. “We were coming off of two bad losses,” he remarked. “We wanted to get back in that win category, so I think that’s what really got us going.”

Before Philadelphia drew as close as eight points late in the fourth quarter, New Orleans had a lead of twenty points at the halftime break and had a margin of as high as thirty-nine points overall throughout the game.

“We had an awesome start to the game,” remarked Willie Green, the coach of the Pelicans. “We came out in the third quarter and we continued to play well — we only ended up winning (the third period) by one, but we played with the lead and continued to try to build it.”

Trey Murphy III, a big and guard for the Pelicans, has been sidelined since receiving meniscus surgery in September. It is anticipated that he will make his first appearance of the season on Friday.

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But New Orleans has revealed that center Larry Nance Jr. has suffered an aggravation of his right rib fracture, and it is anticipated that he will miss between four and six weeks of action.

A career-high 33 points were scored by Jeremy Sochan of the Spurs in their game against the Hawks. Nevertheless, he was called for a charge with 2.7 seconds remaining in the game as San Antonio attempted to level the score. San Antonio had led by as many as 15 points in the first half of the game.

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