CJ McCollum’s incredible insight into Zion Williamson

NBA Analytics Network

There have been many surprises in the NBA this season, one of the biggest being the performance of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans finished the 2021-22 season on a high note by slipping into the NBA Play-In Tournament, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and LA Clippers to earn the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

That led to a matchup with the Phoenix Suns, who many people thought would waltz the Pelicans. But New Orleans gave them all they could handle in a six game series. That trajectory was even more impressive because they did it without Zion Williamson.

Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season as he recovered from an off-season procedure on his foot. He almost seemed to return a few times, but was eventually stopped. His return to the field has helped the Pelicans take that next step as they have established themselves as one of the best teams in the league.

While Williamson was recovering, the front office took some steps to improve the roster. CJ McCollum was acquired before the deadline in a major trade and helped New Orleans make their playoff push last season. This is the first time he’s really seen Williamson, and he’s in awe of what the 2019 NBA Draft No. 1 is capable of. It was shared as McCollum’s diary op Andscape via Marc J. Spears.

“You are starting to see what you thought you would see with Zion Williamson. I hadn’t seen him up close before I came here. I had an idea of ​​what I thought it was like, and then I played with him. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this. The way he plays, the efficiency, the strength, the power. The finesse to handle and touch around the basket. He had a nine game streak around 30 [points], actually. Such a ridiculous thing where you start to see the comfort level.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

There are a lot of new faces in the team since Williamson last took the field, so there was definitely a period of adjustment needed. You wouldn’t know there were more than 17 months between regular season appearances, as he fits seamlessly into the Pelicans’ lineup this season.

“The funny thing is he hasn’t played for a year, so he was figuring things out. Feel the game. Feeling his new teammates, new staff, attack. Learn to jump and land comfortably in traffic. Get back in basketball shape. Now he finally feels comfortable and is in his rhythm. He finds his spots, shoots 3s when he wants to. He comes to the free-throw line.”

Williamson averages 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks in 33.4 minutes per game. He demonstrates the improvements in his game, as he can impress in more ways than just rattling dunks.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

As McCollum noted, he’s starting to feel comfortable expanding his game beyond just using his alien athleticism and is doing it all while still getting back into basketball shape. We’ve seen players take over a year to get comfortable on the pitch after a long absence, but Williamson has picked up the game and is truly impressive for McCollum.

“Obviously you see the highlights playing in the attack. But the defense will take it personally. He guards. He had a shot block in the corner that was eerily reminiscent of the one he had when he was with Duke. You begin to see Zion Williamson unleashed. I’m not going to say it’s his best form because he’s 22, he’s going to get better. But this is him who maximizes his potential, his skills and uses everything.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Already an All-Star caliber player, Williamson fills the stats every night. With his improvements in other areas, he takes his game to another level. Not only will it result in more accolades for himself, but team success will follow as the Pelicans are one of the most versatile teams in the NBA.

#McCollums #incredible #insight #Zion #Williamson

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