Zion Williamson played a lone hand in the Pelicans’ loss to the Knicks today. But he loved playing here on his return to Madison Square Garden.
It was a battle of power forwards at the MSG this afternoon. Zion Williamson and Julius Randle went head-on at each other. Zion had the higher points tally with 34, but Randle was unquestionably the better player on the night.
Randle compiled 33 points, with many of those shots coming right in Zion’s grill. Randle could’ve had a 40-burger if he’d successfully converted the open 3-pointers he got every now and then.
What a battle at the GARDEN 🔥
Knicks beat the Pelicans in overtime 122-112 and New York is on a SIX GAME WIN STREAK 😳 (via @NBA)
Randle: 33 PTS | 10 AST | 5 STL
Rose: 23 PTS | 9/17 FG | 5 AST
Williamson: 34 PTS | 9 REB | 5 AST
Bledsoe: 22 PTS | 4 REB | 4 AST pic.twitter.com/4XJzEJdrOW
— Overtime (@overtime) April 18, 2021
Zion Williamson remarks how special it is to play at Madison Square Garden
The game went to OT, where the Knicks ran away with all the points and momentum. It was still an encouraging performance for the Pelicans, who defended exemplarily well in the 3rd quarter.
Williamson reflected on the events of the game that led to the Pelicans’ comeback in the presser. He also expressed an admiration for the Mecca of basketball, calling it his favorite place to play outside of New Orleans.
“[New York] might be my favorite place to play outside of New Orleans. I can’t lie to you.”
Zion loved playing in MSG 👏 pic.twitter.com/FvUAduxmXa
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2021
Zion will need to be defensively a lot better if he wants to be considered a true superstar. But his impact on the game was still superstar-like, even if he didn’t display real range and got all of his paints from inside the paint.
There’s a ton of room for Williamson to grow his game and improve his play. Another full season like this and you can expect him to shepherd the Pelicans to perennial contender status.