Zion Williamson Scores 22 On Pelicans Debut
All eyes were on New Orleans to watch number one draft pick Zion Williamson make his Pelicans debut Wednesday night.
Zion Williamson missed the first 44 games of the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on October 21.
As a result, his league debut was one of the most hotly anticipated in NBA history. So much so, that ESPN had to alter it’s national broadcast schedule to show Zion Williamson playing his first game.
After struggling to find his feet through the first three quarters, Williamson showed what he’s all about in the fourth.
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Zion scored 17 consecutive points in the fourth quarter, momentarily giving New Orleans the lead. Then, true to the pattern of his night, he sat out the final five minutes of the quarter.
Williamson finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, three assists and five turnovers. However, it wasn’t enough to topple the visiting San Antonio Spurs, who ran out 121 – 117 winners.
Williamson was given a 6 – 8 week recovery time frame after going under the knife in October. It has actually taken 13 weeks for him to get back on the court as the Pelicans played it safe with their young star.
Pelicans officials have made conflicting statements about his game time. There was talk of limiting his minutes. Although, VP of basketball operations David Griffin stated that the team will assess how he reacts to his gametime.
In total, Williamson played 18 and a half minutes against the Spurs.
He didn’t play more than 5 minutes in the first, second or third quarters. His 17-point burst in the fourth saw him go 2-2 from the field, 4-4 from the three-point line and 1-2 from the free-throw line. If the Pelicans can get him going, look for Williamson to drive them towards the playoffs.