The NBA is moving on the fast track toward restarting the season later this month, including 22 teams. Among those will be the New Orleans Pelicans, hoping to push toward the playoffs in the eight-game regular season. With players making their way back to the court, there has been a significant excitement around Pelicans’ rookie big man Zion Williamson. That has left many buzzing about his potential return to the court in the coming weeks.
Zion Williamson’s impressive start to NBA career
It didn’t take long for Zion Williamson to prove he is the real deal in his rookie season.
The 20-year-old’s first year began with a setback, but since taking the court he has produced at a historic rate. In 19 games played this season, he’s averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 58.9% from the floor and 46.2% from beyond the arc. That has seen him make NBA history along the way as he joined Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill as the only players with seven 20-point outings in their first 10 games career games over the last 30 seasons.
Williamson’s production has generated plenty of excitement toward his future in the league. He has quickly become a must-see attraction that could quickly become one of its face for the next decade-plus that has already included a 2K21 cover. He has now done something else that has the Pelicans enthralled about the upcoming resumption of the season.
Pelicans are raving about Zion Williamson’s physical shape
It has been a difficult last few months since the NBA, like many sports leagues, decided to suspend their season.
However, the NBA is on a fast track toward the 2019-20 campaign being resumed. The Pelicans are among the teams that will resume play with the focus around Zion Williamson. That has especially been the case after team photos emerged of him in tremendous physical shape with teammate J.J. Redick boasting last Friday on his podcast about him looking like a superhero. (H/T USA TODAY Sports)
Zion definitely looks great. The picture that was put up [on Thursday], the mask was like an added effect. The side angle of him turning, it was like half Thanos, half Bane. He legit looked like a superhero. I’m excited to see what he does. Apparently, for the last several weeks, he has been training really hard so I’m excited to see him in this environment.
Williamson was already a unique physical specimen, but he has used the off time to finer tune his body is a promising sign. His weight has been an underlying concern, which has he taken a serious approach to put himself in even greater physical shape with that extra time away from the game.
Zion Williamson ready for playoff push
If the NBA resumes as planned, the Pelicans will have the chance to push toward the playoffs.
New Orleans is currently 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot. That will put greater importance on Zion Williamson to play a greater factor on the court to lift the Pelicans into the postseason picture’s back end.
It’s a chance for Williamson to help his team make a strong push that will need some things to sway their way to have an opportunity to extend beyond the final eight regular-season games. Williamson is expected to play in a significant role on the floor, but head coach Alvin Gentry has voiced that he won’t extend his player longer than he believes necessary.
Beyond that, the Pelicans have a scenario ahead that could make some noise in the coming weeks with serious playoff aspirations.