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Zion Williamson: Pelicans' Effort Early in Loss vs. Spurs Was 'Not Acceptable'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2020

San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan, right, goes up for a shot against New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans are hanging on to the thinnest of playoff hopes after Sunday's 122-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and Zion Williamson is not happy about it.   

The rookie phenom had some strong words about the team's effort after the game.

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Zion Williamson on coming out slow in loss to Spurs that pushed Pelicans to brink of elimination: “Not acceptable. The lack of spirit in the first half dictates the second half.” https://t.co/MOPpBNM2zQ

The Pelicans are now just 2-4 in the Florida bubble and have fallen 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers in the race for the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference. That seed will have the chance to compete in a play-in series to reach the postseason. 

If the Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, however, the Pelicans will be eliminated from postseason consideration. 

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

For Pelicans to make the playoffs, they need the Suns to lose two, Blazers to go 0-3, Spurs to lose two. That’s their only scenario.

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

Grizzlies cannot be passed by Kings or Pelicans. Can still be passed by Blazers, Suns, Spurs. Pelicans are eliminated with win by Portland later today.

The Pelicans had an excellent chance to make the playoffs coming into the bubble. But after Sunday's effort, those dreams are all but gone.