New Orleans Pelicans: Takeaways from Zion Williamson’s debut

NBA New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NBA New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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NBA New Orleans Pelicans
NBA New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Despite a slow start, and a loss, Zion Williamson still tore the roof off of the Smoothie King Center in last night’s fourth quarter against the Spurs. Here are a few takeaways from his debut.

In what was dubbed #ZionDay by NBA Twitter – which entailed the heavily anticipated debut of 2019’s No. 1 pick, Zion Williamson, who was returning from knee surgery – the event did not fail to meet its high expectations.

Take one look at what was trending Wednesday night and that becomes perfectly clear. Monikers like “Zion,” “#ZionDay,” “Omg Zion,” “Bruh Zion,” “Wow Zion” and “Ok Zion” were scattered all across Twitter’s top trending feed.

The fact that the San Antonio Spurs traveled to New Orleans and beat the Pelicans on their home floor ironically went undiscussed online. Even inside the stadium, when the Pels were facing defeat, the popular battle cries were amongst “We want Zion!” and “MVP!” chants regarding the star rookie, rather than pleas of a comeback victory.

Because last night, the scoreboard didn’t matter; all that mattered was Zion and the 18 minutes in which he took to the hardwood. Or to be more specific, all that really mattered was the three-minute fourth-quarter sequence in which Zion absolutely set the basketball world to flames.

In a 3:08 time frame in the 4th quarter, Zion managed to nab himself 17 “get up, the couch is on fire!” points. Every one of his six shot attempts found the basket in that span; and surprisingly, four of those attempts came from 3-point land (just like the scouting reports suggested, right?).

No player in NBA history has ever gone for 4-4 (or better) from deep in their debut game. In a league where the likes of Steph Curry, Kyle Korver and Ray Allen (among others) have roamed; Zion holds that record. That’s the kind of reality-defying night Wednesday was.

Zion’s first game was also good for the most points ever by a debuting player in 20 minutes-or-less (he finished with 22 points on the night). Now yes, that stat is a bit of a reach (in terms of trying to insert Zion’s performance into the record books), but it speaks volumes to just how crazy a performance he had that the stats and media are even trying to do so.

Zion arrived last night, and he did so in the most earth-riveting fashion. His debut might have been the most exhilarating thing fans have seen all season. In honor of that, let’s completely overreact to one game and compile a few takeaways from Zion’s rippling rookie showcase.