Zion Williamson Angry About Minutes, Fitness a Growing Concern
Zion Williamson is angry about his minutes restrictions, but the tape tells a different story.
While the New Orleans Pelicans have received some criticism for “babying” their rookie phenom, Williamson hasn’t particularly been helping his situation. The former Duke Blue Devil has had a questionable motor to say the least early on in the NBA’s restart, often times looking like he was gassed and unable to continue playing at a high level.
“Zion is not on their injury report,” said Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “They are treating him as though he’s coming back from an injury, but he’s not on their injury report. I cannot make an assumption as to what’s going on there. When you watch him play, he clearly is not in condition to compete at the highest level. As I’ve watched him play two games, I don’t actually think they should have played him at all with the way he’s playing. I talked to a scout who said to me he shouldn’t be out there right now with the condition he is in. He said to me, ‘He’s moving worse than he did in Summer League last summer when he got hurt in his first or second game.’
“I don’t know if that’s because he’s out of condition, or that’s because he’s got something that they’re not discussing. This is one of the things that the Pelicans have to deal with… this is a guy who has a history of knee injuries and is not right either because of conditioning or because of something else.”
The upcoming offseason will be vital in Williamson’s development. Since making his NBA debut, he has looked incredible explosive and the talent is obviously there, but defensively he has largely been a disappointment.
“He does not look right,” said Kirk Goldsberry. “It does not look good. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say he shouldn’t be out there because I don’t know… Something smells fishy here. I don’t know what’s going on. He does not look like the kid that was dominating the league in March.”
While the national media continues to hype him up, and rightfully so, there is some serious work that needs to be done here.