On January 22 the most hyped basketball player, maybe ever, finally stepped on to an NBA court. Zion Williamson had his debut after being held out for three months recovering from a torn meniscus. Williamson’s debut came against the San Antonio Spurs where the Pelicans were defeated 121-117.
Williamson started off the game slow. He only notched one assist in the first quarter and was subbed out with eight minutes left.
Williamson then started the second quarter where he picked up a rebound. With ten and a half minutes left he pulled down a rebound then went right back up and scored his first basket as an NBA player.
Zion with his first NBA Basket 🚨 pic.twitter.com/toKhrSUji4
— ContentNBA (@ContentNBA) January 23, 2020
Then with seven minutes left Williamson was subbed out for the half. This was probably not the start a lot of fans were expecting.
But, it really should’ve been. Williamson has been out for months, unable to play or workout at full strength for a while. Though he does have the talent and explosiveness to change the game at any time, he has just been out for so long. At this point it would be unrealistic to expect him to play at his full potential, especially coming off an injury.
The third quarter went much like the first half, another basket and a couple of rebounds before being subbed out after a couple of minutes
Finally though, in the fourth quarter, it seemed that Williamson shook off the rust. After getting two more assists Williamson drained a three-pointer with nine minutes left. Then, over the course of the next three minutes he accounted for 14 more points and two more rebounds, including going 4-4 from beyond the arc, before being subbed out for the remainder of the game.
So, aside from a slow first half, Zion’s debut was electric. In fact, his debut went so well that people aren’t even talking about the loss.
Now that Zion’s debut is over what is there to expect?
Well, first of all, he needs his minutes to stay limited. This may keep awards like Rookie of the Year out of reach, but in the long term can really help him ease into the NBA schedule. Coming off of his knee injury it will be important to keep him fresh. He can’t overwork during the recovery process.
Next, he absolutely needs to drop some weight. Maybe not as much as some are suggesting. But, in order to have a long and healthy career some of that mass is going to have to go. Plus, with some of the extra weight gone the explosiveness of his game can increase.
Now that fans have finally gotten a limited first look at Zion Williamson, there are a lot of positives. Of course, with any player, there are some negatives. But, Zion does look to be like a future superstar and someone who should have a, hopefully long, and amazing career ahead of him.