Zion Williamson looked like a young Shaquille O’Neal on Wednesday night. He bulldozed his way through the Toronto Raptors and helped the Pelicans win 126 – 108. Zion finished the game with 33 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. This was one of his most dominating performances since returning from his year-long layoff last season.
Zion shot 80 percent from the floor against the Raptors and only missed three shots in 37 minutes of action. The Raptors are typically considered one of the better defensive teams in basketball but they couldn’t stop Zion from scoring. Nick Nurse’s Raptors routinely doubled and even tripled teamed Zion but he still managed to find ways to score for the Pelicans.
He controlled the court both offensively and defensively. Zion has been criticized for his weight gain in the past but this season he has slimmed down and has proven to be getting better each game defensively.
The Raptors are no slouches either. They were a playoff team last year and look like a playoff team again this year when healthy. They simply had no answer for Zion though.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors: There was no answer for Zion Williamson
Zion scored the majority of his points around the basket. He had several highlight reel dunks on the Raptors. He did not attempt any 3-pointers during this game and has only made three 3-pointers so far this season.
The Raptors lack a proper NBA center and have deficiencies with their interior defense, so Zion and the Pelicans were able to exploit them in the paint. Zion acted like a sledgehammer and crashed his way through the Raptors’ defenders on his way to dunking and laying up the basketball.
By sledgehammering his way through the Raptors he also drew several fouls and went to the line 12 times. He got nine of his 33 points from the free throws. His season high for free throw attempts is 15. His 75 percent shooting from the foul line tonight was the one weakness in his game against Toronto. He’s currently shooting 71 percent from the foul line on the season.
Tonight’s performance against a playoff-type team clearly indicates that Zion Williamson is regaining his form after a “slow” start to the season. In 2019 he was the most anticipated draft pick since LeBron James and he is proving the hype is indeed deserved and real.