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Zion Williamson dunks in warmups despite not being ready to play in critical game

Zion Williamson threw down a windmill dunk and made explosive moves in his workout before the Pelicans played the Thunder, but he didn't suit up.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ season is over, and controversy over one of the team’s most polarizing players has begun. 

Zion Williamson was not available for a must-win matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA play-in tournament. But he didn't look like he was injured in his pregame workout.

Williamson threw down a windmill dunk during his workout before the game, and it got many people questioning whether he’s actually hurt. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Williamson was also making hard, explosive moves on the court and was hitting shots with a trainer defending him. So, it didn’t appear his right hamstring, which he injured in January, was bothering him much. 

He also said it wasn’t on Tuesday.

PELICANS STAR ZION WILLIAMSON OPENS UP ABOUT HIS STRUGGLES WITH INJURIES: ‘IT’S BEEN FRUSTRATING'

"Physically, I’m fine," Williamson said, via The Associated Press. "Now, it’s a matter of when I fee like Zion."

What exactly is feeling like Zion?

"I can pretty much do everything, but it’s just a matter of the level that I was playing at before my hamstring," Williamson said. "I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team when I can just be on the sideline supporting them more because I know myself. If I was to go out there, I would be in my head. I would hesitate on certain moves, and it could affect the game."

Williamson has not played for the Pelicans since Jan. 4 after aggravating his hamstring. He also reaggravated the injury in February, which set him back. 

Meanwhile, veteran guard CJ McCollum revealed he has been playing through a thumb injury, one that requires offseason surgery. A shoulder injury also may need surgery, but he played through it Wednesday night. 

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That’s another reason why some had questions after seeing Williamson work out the way he did. 

Williamson is a two-time All-Star forward, which includes this season, even though he only played 29 games. He averaged 26 points, showcasing his speed, strength and explosiveness that got him drafted first overall in 2019. 

But three of Williamson’s four seasons in New Orleans have been plagued by injury. He had a foot ailment last season that kept him out the entire year. In his rookie season, he played just 24 games. The Pelicans loved what they saw during the 2020-21 season, when he averaged 27 points over 61 games. But he hasn’t consistently stayed on the floor. 

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