The New Orleans Pelicans haven’t been up to the mark so far this season. But sophomore Zion Williamson has been one of their few bright spots. With all the spotlight away from him now, he is quietly having an amazing season.
Tonight he has got off to a good start against the Portland Trail Blazers. He led the Pelicans in scoring by the half and was responsible for their lead. However, his best highlight from the half wasn’t a ferocious dunk, but a vicious chase-down block.
As Trail Blazers’ Gary Trent Jr dribbled up to the rim and released a layup, Zion came in charging and rejected it with authority. It was a volleyball swat from the Pelicans star who redeemed himself from the turnover at the other end. He is often criticized for his lack of effort in the paint on defense, and this highlight is a reminder of what he can do at his best.
Zion Williamson: As efficient as it gets
On his NBA debut against Spurs last season, Zion hit four threes and announced his arrival. But since then, he has attempted over two threes a game just once, and never goes beyond two attempts per game. He has stuck to his strength, which is scoring in the paint.
This has made him one of the most efficient scorers in the league, and he has also broken a few records in this process. After the Pelicans’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Zion became the only player in NBA history to average 20+ points per game with a 60+ FG%. He also reached 1180 points in what was his 50th career game. That is the most among active players in their first 50 games.
Currently, in the 2020-21 season, Williamson is averaging 24.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and three assists per game. He can easily average more rebounds, and also more blocks if he can be more mobile and put more effort.
The Pelicans need him to step up as a player who can lead them to wins. They are currently in the 11th position in the Western Conference and could miss out on the playoffs once again. Zion will aim to change that by the end of the season.
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