clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Zion Williamson Making A Big Impression So Far With The NBA’s Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans v Cleveland Cavaliers
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 28: Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 28, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 125-111. 
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Duke fans know better than anyone what Zion Williamson is capable of, and Duke fans who saw him play in person last season know better than just about anyone this side of a professional what he can do.

So when we see this article by’s Sam Quinn, we know he’s right about Zion’s strength. Remember this picture? What almost no one seemed to notice was that he was pinching the basketball without using his thumb.

So yes, his strength is off the charts. There’s just not much you can do. But what he’s missing is the quickness.

He does say this: “With only a week of experience under his belt, Williamson can already get practically wherever he wants on the floor whenever he wants to get there, and he’s doing it while athletically compromised thanks to a recovering torn meniscus. He’s so strong that it hardly matters how fast or bouncy he is. Once he’s stuck out his butt, his position has been carved out.“

Look, nothing he says is really wrong but what he hasn’t seen yet is the strength compounded by quickness. How many times last season did we see a ball handler turn his back only to find Williamson leaving his man to make the steal and fly off downcourt for a thunderous dunk.

He’s recovering from that injury, so it’ll take him a while to get himself back up to 100 percent. We’ve pegged him at about 80-85 percent and have yet to see him explode in the way that we’re used to. Take the picture with this article. Last year he would’ve gone up after that shot. He hasn’t yet gotten his wind and timing fully back.

That he’s insanely dominant at less than 100 percent is just part of the myth at this point, like the block at Virginia or the astonishing dunk against Army. It’s just Zion stuff.

Wait until they see him at full strength and speed.

Incidentally, here’s New Orleans’ TV schedule. Coming on the 4th: Milwaukee and the Greek Freak.