It has become another wasted season for the New Orleans Pelicans after they watched their playoff aspirations come to a heartbreaking end on Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. This was the Pelicans’ most important game of the season, and it was a shame that Zion Williamson was not even able to suit up despite previous reports that he was already making significant progress on his road to recovery from a nagging hamstring injury.
After the game, an understandably dejected CJ McCollum was asked about what he feels the Pelicans need to do next season in order for them to reach their goals — something that they clearly failed at this year. In his mind, being available is the most important thing for New Orleans, which is something that you can’t really say about Zion Williamson:
“It’s hard to say what we need to do other than injury because we played 10 games together with our core,” McCollum said, via ClutchPoints on Twitter. “So I would say availability is important. We’ve got to be available. We’ve got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, in terms of getting treatment, in terms of getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet. Everything has to matter to us — for everybody, 1 though 15.”
“We’ve got to be available. We’ve got to do what we need to do off the court in terms of preparation, getting treatment, getting the right sleep, the right type of hydration, having the right type of diet.”
Pelicans guard CJ McCollum pic.twitter.com/uJ8FO9eiWa
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 13, 2023
McCollum noted that this is applicable to every single player on the roster, but it’s hard not to think that he had Zion in his mind with his monologue here — especially with the bit about getting treatment and having the right diet.
McCollum also went on to say that the younger players on the squad, in particular, need to form the habit of being consistent in everything that they do:
“Consistently doing the small stuff I think will be very important for us as a team, especially for our younger guys,” CJ continued. “Understanding that you have to get a routine that’s consistent, and it builds consistent success. … If we don’t do that, then I’ll never have a real answer for you as to what we can accomplish because we won’t be able to see it.”
There are a lot of young studs on the Pelicans roster, and it is clear that CJ McCollum did not single out any one player in particular. Then again, Zion Williamson is 22, so there’s that, too.
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