Don’t look now, but two former Blue Devils, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans are on a six-game win streak and on top of the Western Conference.
It’s not all flash though - the Pelicans have become an excellent defensive team and Williamson, who hasn’t always applied himself on defense as an NBA player, is part of that.
The team is building a swaggering identity. Williamson, Ingram (albeit injured at the moment) and CJ McCollum are known qualities of course but other guys have becoming quite interesting. Jose Alvarado has become a bit of a cult figure, while guys like Trey Murphy and Larry Nance have carved out nice roles. And rookie Dyson Daniels, a potent defender himself, has moved into the starting lineup and has begun to assert himself.
In short, it’s a great time for the Pelicans and on Friday night, they hosted Phoenix and beat the Suns 128-117.
Williamson had a typical Zion game: he shot 13-17 and 9-12 from the free throw line for 35 points. He also had seven rebounds and four assists.
There was one play in particular that Phoenix noticed though, and didn't much appreciate: with time running out and the game in the bag, Williamson was alone on the offensive end of the court and got the ball with no one around.
So he put a celebratory exclamation point on the win, and the Suns didn’t like that at all.
The rest of the highlights are, even by Zion-level standards, eye popping. When he plays like this, he truly is unstoppable.