Now let me pray to keep you fromMs. Lauryn Hill, “To Zion”
The perils that will surely come
See life for you my prince has just begun
I was asked a few times yesterday what I thought Zion Williamson would have to average per game in order to steal the rookie of the year award from Ja Morant. My answer was, of course, absurd. I said 22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists. Last night was Zion’s long-awaited debut. He didn’t hit 22/10/6, but uh… he made that look extremely possible.
I’ll admit it- I went to bed at the end of the first quarter. I figured that with it being his debut, the amount of time he was given to that point would be an indicator. I have a day job, after all.
Last week, I declared that the NBA was not prepared for Ja Morant. That will likely be the case for a long time to come. Zion emerged as a pat on the back for all of the instant gratification that NBA Twitter asked for. The NBA had all the time in the world to get ready for him, and in eighteen minutes he dissuaded those who tried to say he was over-hyped.
I know the drill. The Pelicans lost. You play to win the game. From early in the night, the game was objectively about Zion.
So when the fourth quarter came around, Zion showed his versatility.
He made that shot.
And this one.
And how about these two?
Yep. Zion took four shots from beyond the arc and he made them all. This was all a part of a run where he scored 17 straight points.
We have no idea if this is sustainable. In fact, its hard to find a smaller sample size than just one quarter of one game. We don’t even know if Zion can stay healthy. But man, stuff like last night just doesn’t happen every day.
For all of the time ESPN/TNT/ABC spent on broadcasting Pelicans games, the early season worry might have been beaten to death by the next Chosen 1. The Pelicans are now must-watch TV for the rest of the season and beyond.
I leave you with the full highlights of the 17-point run.