New Orleans Pelicans fans must be thrilled to have their superstar back this year. Zion Williamson, after missing all of last season with a foot injury, has returned with a fury this year. On Wednesday night, Williamson reminded everyone how dominant he can be in a 104-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.
He finished the game with 29 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block. Williamson was ultra efficient as usual, hitting 11-of-16 from the field. His performance moved him into elite company in Pelicans/Hornets history. This was the sixth time he has posted a stat line of 25+ points, 10+ rebounds and five or more assists in a game. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he joined Chris Paul for the fourth most in franchise history.
It appears Williamson is on his way to fulfilling the hype that surrounded him when he entered the NBA. It can be argued that there was as much hype and therefore pressure on the Pelicans superstar to perform of anyone since LeBron James came into the league in 2003.
There was a lot of concerns over the last year or two, primarily due to his checkered injury history. But also Williamson’s work ethic had been called into question previously when he allegedly arrived to training camp overweight. But he is putting those concerns to rest with his play this year.
After Wednesday’s game, he also joined a very exclusive list of efficiency, noted by Stat Muse. Zion Williamson is one of only three players to post 20+ points per game on 55% or better shooting for their careers. The other two are Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.