Zion Williamson only played 24 games in his much-anticipated rookie season last year due to a knee injury. But in those few outings, the rim-rattling forward sure made his impact felt.
Now in his second year, Williamson is eager to play more minutes and show fans what he can truly do.
In their first game of the season on Wednesday, the New Orleans Pelicans star tallied a solid 15 points, missing only two of his nine shots, while adding 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in 30 productive minutes. He did commit six turnovers though.
The Pelicans beat the Toronto Raptors, 113-99.
Williamson’s 15 points may not be exactly mind-blowing, but that upped his scoring total to 555 points in his first 25 games, just one point shy of tying Allen Iverson’s record, according to ESPN Statistics and Information.
Zion Williamson now has 555 career points (finished with 15 tonight).
That is the most through a player's first 25 career games since Allen Iverson (556). pic.twitter.com/FzuJok1fZW
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 24, 2020
Williamson, who reportedly lost 25 pounds since the NBA Bubble, is eager to bounce back after his rather underwhelming rookie year. He is clearly one of the main cogs for the young Pelicans and will hold down the shaded lane along with new acquisition Steven Adams.
The burly 20-year-old averaged 22.5 points on 58.3 percent field goal shooting, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season while playing only 27.8 minutes an outing. Former coach Alvin Gentry had him on playing time restrictions because of his knee surgery in the first half of their campaign.
He, however, is expected to play more this year as new coach Stan Van Gundy has already said that he plans to run the Pelicans through Zion Williamson and fellow Duke alumnus Brandon Ingram.