3 Areas that Zion Williamson can improve in 2023-24

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Zion Williamson Pelicans
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

3. Off-Ball Offense

It really doesn’t get much better on-ball than having a human freight train like Williamson at the helm. Before Williamson went down for the season on January 2nd, the Pelicans had the 7th best Offensive Rating in the league (per Cleaning the Glass). Williamson helio-ball has the power to raise the floor of any offense to a really high level.

But if you want to increase your offense’s ceiling, you want to make sure that other high-level offensive players can thrive next to you. The Pelicans already have other high-level offensive players (Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum). They just need Williamson to play off of them.

Thanks to their outside shooting, Ingram and McCollum should be able to play off of Williamson and space the floor for his drives. But Williamson isn’t much of a shooter (he averages 0.6 three-point attempts per game for his career). So, he needs to find other ways to contribute off the ball.

His offensive rebounding and cutting is already a valuable tool. Last season, he ranked in the 94th percentile in putbacks and 62nd percentile in cuts (per NBA.com).

But another thing he can do is be used more as a roller. In 2022-23, he didn’t even have enough roll attempts to register in NBA.com’s database. This season, the Pelicans should look to increase his volume in this playtype (especially if he is going to play more center). That way, he can be involved in an action with Ingram/McCollum without having the ball in his hands.

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