Jonas Valanciunas on Zion Williamson: We need him

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Christian Clark: Jonas Valanciunas on Zion’s absence: “We need him. We are waiting every day for him to come back. It’s going to be a different look with our team. But he’s a huge piece for us. We need him back. Then we’re going to see what everything looks like.”
Source: Twitter @cclark_13

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Eliot Clough @EliotClough
Myles Brennan transferring
Pelicans 1-6
City edition jerseys boring af
Zion MIGHT be back in 2-3 weeks
Jameis Winston torn ACL pic.twitter.com/gRHdoZCEvd3:29 PM

Scott Kushner @ScottDKushner
At some point, you’d expect Zion would want to tell his side of the story & shine some light about what’s going on.
But, he’s choosing silence.
That’s not the Pelicans’ fault. Team can’t make him talk to the press.
As long as he’s hurt, he’s under no obligation to media. – 3:02 PM

Christian Clark @cclark_13
Jonas Valanciunas on Zion’s absence: “We need him. We are waiting every day for him to come back. It’s going to be a different look with our team. But he’s a huge piece for us. We need him back. Then we’re going to see what everything looks like.” – 2:44 PM

Scott Kushner @ScottDKushner
Losing is obviously the biggest problem. And that’s hard to fix.
But, setting an expectation for Zion’s recovery & completely whiffing it is a clear second place.
If the initial timeline was presented as a long term injury, there’d be frustration but nearly not as much anger. – 2:36 PM

Emiliano Carchia @Sportando
Pelicans coach Willie Green says Zion Williamson will be out at least another 2-to-3 weeks
sportando.basketball/en/pelicans-co…2:35 PM

Eliot Clough @EliotClough
The Zion news just killed optimism from the some of the most optimistic guys in Pels Twitter, bro. This team, smh – 2:31 PM

Jake Madison @NOLAJake
Zion is 2-3 weeks away from potentially being cleared to be a full participant in practice? The quotes from media look even stranger now – 2:31 PM

Scott Kushner @ScottDKushner
It is baffling looking back on the quotes from media day and knowing Zion is going to miss at LEAST the first month of the season, and probably more.
Zion said outright he’d be back Opening Night. And don’t play the Griff semantics game about “regular season”. – 2:29 PM

Oleh Kosel @OlehKosel
Willie Green says Zion Williamson’s latest tests were 👍🏼 so workload has increased. He’ll be allowed to do more things, like participate in 5 on 0 stuff. There’ll be another set of scans 2-3 weeks, which if positive should result in final step of full contact, 5 on 5 activity. – 2:20 PM

Will Guillory @WillGuillory
Willie Green says Zion Williamson had his scans done on his foot. He’s cutting, doing some work on the floor.
He still isn’t cleared to do any 5-on-5 work. The plan is for him to get another round of scans in 2-3 weeks that’ll free him up to be a full participant in practice. – 2:15 PM

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez
Zion Williamson getting some shots up today at the end of practice. pic.twitter.com/Z2vdsYe4ga2:05 PM

Oleh Kosel @OlehKosel
Zion Williamson out here shooting free throws with Fred Vinson after today’s Pelicans practice pic.twitter.com/OUls83rUhr2:04 PM

Christian Clark @cclark_13
Zion working on free throws with Fred Vinson. pic.twitter.com/ELyWQDeVml2:04 PM

Ian Begley @IanBegley
New ESPN analyst JJ Redick was asked on conference call: if a Pelicans fan asked you: should I be worried about Zion Williamson staying w/Pelicans long-term, what would you say? Redick – host of @OldManAndThree show – said NOP should be worried, generally, about Zion’s health: pic.twitter.com/FfHZw1SEEJ12:31 PM

Jake Madison @NOLAJake
If you already own a white Zion jersey would you even consider buying this or would you buy a blue/red/other alternate instead? – 10:54 AM

Jim Eichenhofer @Jim_Eichenhofer
Similar story unfolds in @SmoothieKingCtr as #Pelicans are competitive on home floor vs. quality opponent, but lose by single-digit margin, this time 123-117 to Knicks. Jonas Valanciunas 27 pts, 14 reb for New Orleans. @PanzuraStorage postgame wrap: https://t.co/VTixCDVrt8 pic.twitter.com/CyR7J2TQ6k9:35 PM

Christian Clark @cclark_13
Pelicans 59, Knicks 63. Good halves from the new guys, Jonas Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham, kept it close even though the Knicks shot 9 of 18 from 3. – 8:08 PM

Christian Clark @cclark_13
Pelicans starters:
Devonte’ Graham
Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Josh Hart
Herb Jones
Jonas Valanciunas – 6:27 PM

Will Guillory @WillGuillory
Pelicans starters tonight:
Devonte’ Graham
Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Josh Hart
Herb Jones
Jonas Valanciunas – 6:16 PM

Jim Eichenhofer @Jim_Eichenhofer
Great photo of Jonas Valanciunas reaction to and-one play pic.twitter.com/5qdiDzypJQ2:11 PM

Jim Eichenhofer @Jim_Eichenhofer
Jonas Valanciunas (24 pts, 13 reb) on #Pelicans struggling to score vs. Kings, especially in first three quarters: “We got stagnant and kind of slow on offense. We feed off of running.” – 11:22 PM

Jim Eichenhofer @Jim_Eichenhofer
Sacramento continues its early-season road success, building early lead and holding off #Pelicans in final minute for 113-109 victory. Jonas Valanciunas 24 pts, 13 reb before fouling out for New Orleans. @PanzuraStorage postgame wrap: https://t.co/fyN9OzmObZ pic.twitter.com/QwFQy1Yq6s10:35 PM

Sean Cunningham @SeanCunningham
That’ll do it for Jonas Valanciunas – 10:15 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Kings wearing out Jonas Valanciunas in PnR to close this one out. Haliburton and Fox have scored or assisted on 4 straight possessions out of that play. – 10:14 PM

Jason Anderson @JandersonSacBee
Jonas Valanciunas has fouled out. – 10:13 PM

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez
Jonas Valanciunas just gave Josh Hart a high five with so much force that Hart was shaking his hand for a little while after.
JV bringing the force at all times. – 9:37 PM

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez
That was Jonas Valanciunas’ first miss from the FT line this season. He was 26/26.
His 31 straight going back to last year tied a career high.
The 26 was the 3rd longest-streak to start a season in Pels history: JJ Redick (32) and Ryan Anderson (27) – per @EliasSports9:23 PM

Oleh Kosel @OlehKosel
Jonas Valanciunas’ first miss from the free throw line ends his streak of 26 makes to start this season. – 9:21 PM

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez
Jonas Valanciunas vs. Josh Hart rebound battles are what I am here for.
Gimme more. – 8:46 PM

More on this storyline

Andrew Lopez: Willie Green says doctors are encouraged by Zion’s latest scans. Zion up to 5-on-0 work. Can cut, can do explosive work. Will be another set of scans in 2-3 weeks. Those will determine next step in his return to play. -via Twitter @_Andrew_Lopez / November 1, 2021

Jim Eichenhofer: Willie Green said Zion had his scans done and doctors “are encouraged by what they see. He is progressing to do on-the-court work, 5-on-0, 1-on-0… he’s getting closer and closer.” -via Twitter @Jim_Eichenhofer / November 1, 2021

The 21-year-old big owes much to his size and athleticism but there’re two sides to that coin. While it helps him cope with the NBA physicality, it also increases the risk of injury. That said, the most recent video of Zion training before the Pelicans‘ game didn’t make anyone a believer, as he seems to have gained a hefty amount of weight following the surgery and didn’t seem to move lightly and freely. Reportedly, Zion has reached 300 pounds (136 kg). -via EuroHoops.net / October 31, 2021