Pelicans star Zion Williamson needs to get in better shape, former teammate JJ Redick expresses concern for Williamson and his health
Zion Williamson is a freak of nature when on the court. However, he hasn’t seen the court all that often, playing in only 85 games since being entering the league two years ago. It looks the Pelicans are really missing Zion this season, as they are off to a poor 1-6 start.
The former no. 1 overall pick is still recovering from an offseason foot surgery. The latest updates are that the plan is for him to get another round of scans in 2-3 weeks. What’s more concerning is that Zion Williamson has put on excess weight during his rehab. A new clip has come out of Williamson working out and it got Pelicans fans worried.
As a result, former Pelicans player JJ Redick, who is now an ESPN analyst, was asked if NOLA fans should worry about Williamson’s health. Redick goes on to say there are some worrying signs given his injury history.
New ESPN analyst JJ Redick was asked on conference call: if a Pelicans fan asked you: should I be worried about Zion Williamson staying w/Pelicans long-term, what would you say? Redick – host of @OldManAndThree show – said NOP should be worried, generally, about Zion’s health: pic.twitter.com/FfHZw1SEEJ
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 1, 2021
The former Duke guard goes on to talk about the Pelicans’ future –
“Zion has to be in better shape. And I think if Zion’s out on the court with Brandon (Ingram) and the young nucleus they have, there’s a lot to be excited about if I was a Pelicans fan.”
If Zion can remain healthy, he can certainly be the new face of the Pelicans franchise. The Pelicans fans hope Zion can take over the reins of the franchise after the departure of Anthony Davis.
To make matters worse, co-star Brandon Ingram is also out with a hip injury. The Pelicans will have to rely on the likes of Jonas Valanciunas and Josh Hart to propel them to victories while both their young stars are recovering from injuries.
What to expect from Zion Williamson once he returns this season?
No player has been as hyped as Zion Williamson since LeBron James as a rookie coming into the league. During his tenure as Duke, he was an absolute monster. He was constantly using his ruthless strength and force to quickly overpower his opponents.
Zion Williamson has been a dynamic force when he’s on the court. The 21-year-old has been exceptional, averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while making 61.1% of his shots. However, the biggest problem is that Zion hasn’t been on the court enough.
Williamson isn’t the greatest 3-point shooter, but he understands this and doesn’t force bad shots. The 21-year-old knows his true dominance is being in the paint, and physically dominating his opponents down low.
If new head coach Willie Green can utilize as a Zion “point-forward”, that will improve Pelicans offense exponentially. Check out this video of Zion playmaking and initiating offense:
If Zion can stay healthy, one can expect the Pelicans to be a dark horse in the league. Apart from being injury-prone, there’s little reason why Williamson can’t be the Most Valuable Player and have a scoring title to his name in the next few years.
Many young stars, make a jump into superstardom in the third season. Case in point: Ja Morant. If Zion Williamson can remain healthy, expect him to make the same jump. Pelicans fans will certainly hope that is the case.