Zion Williamson is going to be tough to stop this season and showed off his dominance on Christmas.
The New Orleans Pelicans did in fact lose on Christmas against the Miami Heat. But fans were treated to an absolute show by Zion Williamson and that is one of the most important things for the team this season.
Fans got a teaser of the top pick last season. Now the minute restrictions are gone and Zion is being let loose. He played 38 minutes for the Pelicans in Friday’s loss and finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds. This type of game should be the expectation for what will be an improved Pelicans team.
Zion Williamson is only going to get better
The Pelicans even getting a Christmas game is evidence of Zion’s effect on the franchise. The hype is real and he is proving early on it is warranted as well. Counting two preseason games he has now played at least 30 minutes in all four games this season. He didn’t reach that mark once during play in Orlando over the summer.
Williamson averaged 22.5 points per game last season in only 24 games. The problem was he averaged 27.8 minutes per game and fans wanted to see what he could do with any restrictions. Dropping 32 points against the defending Eastern Conference champions sure is one way to prove he belongs on the court as much as possible.
The only concern from his first game of the season was his six turnovers. He dropped that number to three Friday and it is fair to cut every player in the league some slack in their respective opening games. We know Williamson is not going to play that sloppy on a regular basis.
Williamson being able to score 30 with ease is a reason why the Pelicans can actually focus on competing for a playoff spot this season. Brandon Ingram appears to be the real deal and adding Steven Adams brings both size and experience to the roster.
A rebuild only works if the front office hits on the lottery picks. Snagging Williamson at No. 1 overall and easing him into action appears to be a franchise-changing move in New Orleans after the Anthony Davis era came to an end.