Tonight marks the start of the NBA season and the Pelicans play tonight. The only problem is that Zion Williamson will not be in the lineup or even near the court. Williamson is suffering from a knee injury that will more than likely sideline him for 6-8 weeks putting his debut to around December. The Duke Forward will likely miss 20-26 games in his rookie campaign, which will hurt his case for ROY
I hate to say it but it happened. People forget that he’s 284 lbs ( which makes him the heaviest player in the league; second in league history) with a rather athletic arsenal of moves. Athleticism comes with its disadvantages, and when you’re a high flyer like Zion, the timing of your jump and how you land is key. Being that heavy and that athletic it was only a matter of time before everything caught up to him.
Unfortunately, we don’t like seeing a player of his caliber go down like that; especially a day before the season tips off. Williamson was averaging 23 points and 6 rebounds on 71% shooting this preseason. We can’t argue with that level production. He even tallied up a double-double against the Spurs (which happened to be the night he got hurt).
What we can argue with, however, is his play style. Being a rookie comes with a learning curve, and he needs to learn how to attack the basket properly, as well as use his body weight to his advantage. Being an undersized big is tough, but he’s managed to shrug off that criticism with his play. The only downside is now that he’s hurt, critics around the league will pounce on the opportunity to hate on him.
Being compared to LeBron comes with hefty expectations and this injury will bury his career for the meantime.
For the past few years, we have seen this become a trend with high profile rookies such as Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Anthony Davis, and Blake Griffin. The lone”big-man” who has managed to stay healthy is Karl Anthony Towns. This has to send a message to trainers league-wide about taking care of their players. I understand that this might happen on its own, but what workout routines and drills are these trainers implementing into their everyday lives? Be better!