The moment that New Orleans Pelicans fans have been waiting for will be arriving on Wednesday night during the team’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The awaited arrival of Zion Williamson’s NBA regular-season debut.
It was reported by Andrew Lopez of ESPN that Williamson is going to start, but is expected to play within the 15-20 minute range. There isn’t a hard restriction on his playing time though. No matter how long he will play, seeing him on the floor is vital.
Pelicans President of Basketball Operations David Griffin believes Williamson may need some time to find his ‘timing’ initially. In addition, the work that Williamson has put into his recovery will result in ‘making him a better version of himself.’
“He’s going to be better than he was before,” Griffin told USA TODAY Sports. “He may not be initially. But once he finds his timing, he’s really going to benefit from this time with everything that has been done. It’s making him a better version of himself.”via Mark Medina of USA TODAY.
The focus of Williamson’s rehab process was to improve his flexibility and landings. Being able to spend months perfecting those key areas should translate in a significant way. If that ends up being the case, it’s easy to see how he would be a better player than he was before.
The four appearances Williamson made in the preseason featured some truly impressive signs about his abilities as a player. He managed to average 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 71.4% from the field. Keep in mind, he played just 27.2 minutes per game, too.
With that being said, here are four ways Zion Williamson will impact the Pelicans when he starts playing.