Three-quarters of Zion Williamson seemed like a regular dude. The No. 1 general pick debuted at the NBA for the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, and rot was to be suspected. The rookie had knee surgery after the dominant preseason and spent the first 44 games of the conventional season. The Pelicans stated that they would only show it in compact bursts to get it back in shape, and Williamson performed as if someone had left the 111-day break during the first three of these staccatos. Then came the fourth quarter, and Zion spat lava throughout the gym.
Williamson counted 17 connected points in New Orleans in three minutes and 8 seconds. He went 4-4 at 3 pointers during this time range and single-handedly gave New Orleans his first advantage from the first quarter. After a bumpy start to the game (5 points, 5 turns) he clasped his heels and changed into a Steph Curry the size of Zion.
Evolving out of the Duke, there was no clear NBA association for 6 feet 6, 285 pounds in improvement. He played like a Sherman tank with trampolines for guides, and his talent was definite, but there were still some questions about his ability to shoot (and whether it would matter to him in the professionals). Spurs may have discovered these questions that demonstrated why they left Zion abandoned in the fourth quarter. Whether it is open or not, he never gained more than three three-pointers in a college game, but on Wednesday, Williamson became the first player to go 4-4 or better from the bottoms of his NBA debut.
Zion’s magic was passed to last only as long as the average pop single. New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry got strict orders from pharmaceutical staff to limit Williamson’s playing time and overcame a rookie shortly after he scored 17th in the quarter. New Orleans provided his narrow leader to slip through without a stinging shot from Godzilla, and San Antonio wriggled back to win 121–117.
We can appreciate Zion’s remarkable debut (22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes) for appealing us a little excitement in the NBA during the January drop, but it would be foolish to prognosticate a player’s career after just one game. However, we can extrapolate Zion’s fourth-quarter entrance to the entire game, and then develop these numbers to a full season. It’s the contrary of stupidity – it’s analytics, baby!
Zion Williamson in 3 minutes and 8 seconds: 17 points.
Zion Williamson in 36 minutes (typical NBA opening minutes): ~ 197 points per game.
Zion Williamson in 48 minutes (full NBA game, which, honestly, he should play nevertheless): ~ 263 points per game.
Note that it’s too late, and I’m too exhausted to test my math. Just know that Zion Williamson is a keep to score an average of numerous hundred points in his NBA career if his team needs to keep him in place. It appears like a no brainer.