Clay Travis reacts to the New Orleans Pelicans pulling star rookie Zion Williamson in the 4th quarter of his NBA debut, versus the San Antonio Spurs. After a sleepy first 3 quarters (only playing in small spurts), Zion went on a hot-streak, scoring 17 straight points (including 4-4 from the three-point line.) The New Orleans' crowd exploded as Zion's fourth three-pointer put the Pelicans up by one. With just over five minutes left in the game, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry sat Zion for good, and the Spurs took back control of the game, as chants of "we want Zion" rang down from the Smoothie King Center.
Clay argues that in any other sport (besides maybe MLB pitchers), you would never see a player back from injury be pulled out of a game when he was on a run, about to win it for his home crowd.
The Outkick crew points out that Zion wasn't laboring, and that the Spurs were not playing overly physical with him. Clay says that you wouldn't want to play him 32 or 35 minutes of course, but the difference between 21 and 17 minutes doesn't seem vast enough to sacrifice a win on your home floor and momentum for the team. Clay aims at the Raptors success and says that if the Clippers same load-management plan works this season, the insignificance of the NBA regular season will only intensify.
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