New Orleans Pelicans: Is Zion Williamson Underrated?

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots a free throw (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots a free throw (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Last season all of the hype was around Zion Williamson who took the NBA by storm. This season, the New Orleans Pelicans are 12th in the Western Conference.

But the Pelicans have been firing on all cylinders lately, especially Zion and Lonzo Ball, who have both stepped up their games.

In a win against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, Zion scored his 1,000th career NBA basket, the fastest since Shaquille O’ Neal to do so.

Williamson is now averaging 23.7 points per game and is shooting 60 percent from the floor. He is passing more and playing better defense as well, getting nearly a block and a steal per game.

As much hype as Zion Williamson has gotten, is it possible that he is actually underrated?

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Earlier this season, ESPN put out their Top 100 players for this season, and Zion was ranked at 19. Some fans thought that was too high and doubted Zion in his second year, but this season he has proved to doubters he can go above and beyond and with his latest performances, Zion Williamson is underrated.

Zion Williamson is becoming a passer for the New Orleans Pelicans

Williamson seems to improve each game. In the last five, Zion Williamson is averaging just over four assists per game. Instead of just putting his head down and barrelling to the hoop, Zion is passing out of double teams, finding teammates and racking up the assists.

The Pelicans’ offense has improved as Zion has become more of a point-forward, a wrinkle to his game that has yet to penetrate the national media, which just focuses on his dunks.

New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson is an improved free-throw shooter

Zion Williamson is going to get fouled a lot, and this season he has increased his attempts and percentage at the line.

Zion’s attempts have gone up slightly and his percentage has jumped from 64 to 68.8 percent which is translating to more points and time with the ball in his hands late in games.

Improvement from Zion is a key for the Pelicans as they look to end the first half of the season on a high. With Zion playing some of the best basketball since his college days, his hard work should not be underrated by fans and the media.

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