On Wednesday, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green praised 22-year-old Zion Williamson after a team practice. Williamson is entering his fourth year in the NBA. He missed the entire 2021-22 season with a foot injury.
After a strong outcry, Greene spoke to reporters. “Z [Zion Williamson] It looks amazing. His strength, speed. He dominated the defeat.”
“Then he did a good job of finding his teammates,” Green continued. “It is his power above all else that stands out.”
Can the Pelicans return to the playoffs in 2023? A few NBA betting sites are offering top-15 odds for New Orleans in the 2022-23 season.
Willie Greene on Zion Williamson’s intramural game last night: “Z looked amazing. His strength, his speed. He handled the scrimmage really well. Then he did a great job of finding his teammates. Power, more than anything.”
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) September 28, 2022
Williamson was selected first overall by the Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, the Duke product struggled to stay on the court.
In 85 career games, the 6’6″ wing averaged 25.7 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Before his knee and foot injuries, he averaged 60.4% from the floor and 33.3% from 3-point range.
In Williamson’s rookie 2019-20 season, in 24 starts, the forward averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Additionally, he shot 58.3% from the field and an impressive 42.9% from downtown.
Pelicans head coach Willie Green praises Zion Williamson after practice
In the year In the Pelicans’ 122-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 1, 2020, the big man scored a game-high 35 points in 33 minutes of action. He finished 12 of 16 (75%) shooting.
He was then selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team.
Additionally, the wing set a career high with 61 starts during the 2020-21 season. He averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Not to mention 61.1% from the ground up.
In fact, Williamson received his first NBA All-Star selection in 2021. In the 2021 All-Star Game, the forward scored 10 points in 14 minutes as a starter.
In the year On March 6, 2021, in the Pelicans’ 113–108 win over the Denver Nuggets, Williamson scored a game-high 39 points in 39 minutes. In addition to finishing with 10 rebounds and 5 assists, the wing shot 16-of-19 (84.2%) from the floor.
Fast forward to the 2022 season. In July, the Duke product signed a five-year rookie extension with the Pelicans that included $193 million guaranteed. If Zion Williamson earns All-NBA honors in the 2022-23 season, that amount will increase to $231 million.