Is Zion Living Up to the Hype for the Pelicans?

ESPN Daily


Were in Dallas for the pelicans overtime loss to the Mavericks. Second night of a back to back for New Orleans obviously but we didn't see the Zion. We've sort of been spoiled by over the last month. So what did you get from Zion? On Wednesday night. I saw someone who had to go through a little bit of adversity. There's two different things working against him in that Dallas Game One. It was the first time he played on a back to back. You didn't see his legs under him. Early actually play but gets the block on Williamson Williamson. Took his time getting up court. You may be subbing out of the ball game here. He is drew and Lonzo Ball. We're GONNA come on up to him. Hey man you you're right you you tired. Are you going to play? You GotTa pick one. The other thing. Going against him was Dallas they started Maxi Kluber alongside of kristaps porzingis specifically for Zion Williamson two. That might have been forcing a psychotic burst that is just perfectly played deep that still by Dallas Cleveland's doing A. They went to the formula. That's been working. Which is the. We're GONNA get the tallest guy we have can defend him to do it. And then have another seven footer. Awesome plus footer at the Rim Ryan got blocked inside again. It's not possible in less. Cleber is being this physical and allowing time for kristaps ticket over there. Lieber six ten obviously porzingas seven three. Those have been the only really match ups that have given him problems when they played the box. Janas guarded him and then you have the Lopez twins behind him. Protecting the RIM defers Lakers game. Anthony Davis guarded him. And you had jovial and Dwight rim so that combination kind of went against his favor so walk me through a little bit of the process on the back to back portion of it because this is obviously part of the Adjustment For Zion. So where do you find the line? If you're the PELICANS in trying to get him experienced doing things like back to backs that he'll be asked to throughout his career and then also sort of adjusting him since he is still getting fresh on the court after an injury yeah so initially David Griffin the PELICANS executive vice president of basketball operations who should have a shorter title. It's a mouthful say every time I don't know I mean if you're going to have a title let's go big with it like if I'm going to have a business card the whole front of it's going to be my title and the backs. Just going to say fits. There's not not my first name. Just I'm pretty sure that's what his business card says. I haven't seen one but I'm pretty sure that's it has to read like that initially As I was coming back from the injury. Grif said he wasn't there. Were probably going to take it easy on back to backs. Now the good thing that kind of worked into their favor there was January. Twenty second was when he made his debut since then the Tuesday Wednesday back to back that they just had was the first time they had a back to back so they got to let him get games under his belt. He mentioned to his own Tuesday. You know I have to do the recovery if I want to perform the way that I'm capable of performing as you try to push for or is this your mutual agreement Little bit of both but I need a push for myself because I gotTa do the recovery of I want to be able to perform. We do every night with that. Being said coming off the knee injury there were reports that he was learning how to walk differently. How to run differently? I mean when they're watching him and they're monitoring and what are they looking for his indicators of his health very funny to me because I think George Sodano said that I think on ESPN broadcast and it just kind of blew up. He's learning how to walk and anybody who's been through physical therapy at any point that I for any sort of knee. Injuries foot injury. Whatever it is can tell you. They will relearn how to walk in physical therapy. The learning how to walk and run differently was more about little things in his gate that they wanted to fix. The biggest thing that they really wanted to correct at that time was how he landed when you go back and watch how he landed at. Duke with these huge one handed slam traffic. He's landing on one foot one of the big things you see. Now when he goes up for a dunk whether it's an alley whether he's just throwing it down to hands. He tries to land on two feet as much as possible. Zeile yeah that the to hand flush and a great entry fee for Lonzo Ball over Kunst buck to finish that would KUPA gotta be thinking. What in the world so. It's little things that maybe you don't know at nineteen years old that the Pelicans are trying to instill in him so they can take a little bit of stress off of his knees. The biggest thing you just said is nineteen if you listen to Zion. He'll make sure he tells you. He's nineteen in just about every other interview. I feel like I mean but doesn't right like we are so busy trying to make him either the savior of a lead. That doesn't need to be saved or the reason that we're over. Hyping somebody to the point that people ridicule how much we talk about it but you look at it at some point. Say this is a nineteen year old kid. We're talking about that is absolutely crushing in a limited sample size. So let's turn the tone positive here for a second you're looking at a nineteen year old kid. What he's doing is unprecedented right. It's absolutely unprecedented. Feel like every other night we were finding ways to start a sentence with Zion Williamson. Doing something and we ended it with Michael Jordan or Shaquille O'Neill or Tim Duncan or wilt. Chamberlain the goes on and on and on. And you're like that doesn't make sense.

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