UTAH JAZZ

Report: Zion Williamson Playing Against Jazz

Jul 30, 2020, 3:58 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm
Royce O'Neale...
Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) dribbles around New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Oct 11, 2019. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz should expect to see Zion Williamson active and playing when they tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans. According to Yahoo Sport! Chris Haynes, the rookie phenom will be in uniform against the Jazz.

Williamson had been listed as a game-time decision for the Pelicans after missing all three of the team’s scrimmages after leaving the NBA’s Orlando campus in mid-July. The forward cleared quarantine to rejoin the team for practice on Tuesday.

“New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will play today against the Utah Jazz in the restart opener,” Haynes tweeted.

Despite limited playing time, Williamson is averaging 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 19 games with the Pelicans this season. The forward missed the first 44 games of the season for New Orleans after suffering a torn meniscus during the preseason. The Jazz have yet to face Williamson in a regular-season game.

Jazz Retake The Floor After Closing NBA Season

The Jazz will retake the floor after being at the center of the league’s suspension in March. Center Rudy Gobert was the first NBA players to publicly test positive for COVID-19, sending the professional sports world into a tailspin.

During the league’s hiatus, rumors emerged of discord between Gobert and All-Star teammate Donovan Mitchell. Jazz coach Quin Snyder acknowledged the team’s chemistry issues before facing New Orleans.

“If you step back from what occurred that night, it’s unheard of. It was a surreal experience,” Snyder said. “We had arguably our two best players, certainly two of our key players both tested positive independently. And no one in the rest of the travel party did, which frankly was very surprising to us.”

Gobert traveled back to his Salt Lake City home, while Mitchell flew to the East Coast to spend time with his family. The separation fueled the fires fo the team’s problems.

“You go and you separate for three months, and Rudy and Don and both deal with the virus in their own ways,” Snyder said. “There are so many things that happen when you’re together as a team. When you’re in practice you see each other. So a lot of those things were kind of suspended in time.”

After the rough hiatus, Snyder said his team has bounced back, using the opportunity to finish the season in Orlando as a bonding experience.

“Not only is our chemistry good, but it’s evolving and it’s better,” Snyder said. “We talked about it in a meeting the other day. The players were all talking about the opportunity we have to take something that obviously was fraught with challenges and adversity and to use it to grow as a group.”

The Jazz and Pelicans tip-off at 4:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT and locally on AT&T SportsNet.

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