Zion Williamson Pelicans Season in Review

Zion Williamson Pelicans Season in Review | 2019-20

by Jim Eichenhofer
  • Age 20
  • Experience One season (one with Pelicans)
  • Games Played/Games Started 24/24

More, please.
Zion Williamson only needed a few preseason games to show that even as a teenager, his rare combination of physicality, athleticism and skills were likely to make him a dominant force in the NBA. After being sidelined by knee surgery for the next 3.5 months, it only took him a handful of regular season games to demonstrate his readiness for the league.

Unfortunately for the Duke product, a summer trip to Disney and the NBA bubble included a two-week departure to attend to a family emergency health issue, as well as three DNPs for precautionary reasons. Which meant that the final chapter of his rookie season was in keeping with its overall theme: He often dazzled when he was on the court, but the Pelicans and their fans – and most certainly, Williamson himself – just wish they could’ve seen more of it. “There were a few rough patches where I was trying to get into my rhythm, but it’s a part of the game and a part of coming back from injury,” Williamson said Aug. 13, alluding to an extremely disjointed debut season. “But I feel like the coaches and the training staff handled it very well. Just to be able to play one minute in an NBA game, I’m grateful for that.”

    Zion Williamson Per-Game Stats from 2019-20 NBA Season

  • Minutes 27.8
  • Field Goal % 58.3
  • Three Point % 42.9
  • Free Throw % 64
  • Points 22.5
  • Rebounds 6.3
  • Assists 2.1
  • Steals 0.7
  • Blocks 0.4

There are a multitude of statistics people will use to assess Williamson during the ’20-21 season, but significantly upping the number in the “games played” column should make for a much happier player, team and fan base a year from now.

Zion Williamson | By The Numbers

  • 74.4

    Percentage of Williamson’s attempts from the field that were taken within 0-3 feet of the rim, according to Basketball Reference. The southpaw threw down 58 dunks in just 24 games, many of them coming off Lonzo Ball alley oops. By comparison, New Orleans leading scorer Brandon Ingram took 24.8 percent of his FGAs from 0-3 feet, while No. 3 scorer Jrue Holiday’s share from that point-blank distance was 33.7 percent. Partly as a result of his frequent flights to the hoop, Williamson shot 58.3 percent from the field.

  • 1

    Williamson’s rank in field-goal percentage among the league’s top 76 scorers. You have to go all the way down the list to 77th-ranked Hassan Whiteside of Portland to find a better rate, with Whiteside shooting 62.1 percent from the floor.

  • 64.0

    Exact same percentage at the foul line for Williamson in both his freshman season at Duke and his NBA debut campaign with the Pelicans. With him taking 6.2 trips per game to the stripe as a Blue Devil, then 7.4 as a Pelican, it figures to be an area of focus this offseason.

Zion Williamson | Most Notable Games from 2019-20 NBA Season

  • #1, Jan. 22, San Antonio 121, New Orleans 117

    Sure, it came in a loss, but few in attendance for Williamson’s official NBA debut in the Smoothie King Center will forget the night that the No. 1 pick scored 17 straight points in a three-minute span, including going 4/4 from three-point range. He only sank two three-pointers the rest of the season, but in this ESPN game, provided basketball fans everywhere with a thrilling display of offense.

  • #2, Jan. 26, New Orleans 123, Boston 108

    The Pelicans won for the first time with Williamson in uniform, beating the Celtics in an ESPN game. Finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds, it was one of Zion’s two 20-10 games as a rookie (the other was a 21-10 outing at Houston on Super Bowl Sunday). Top highlight? An alley oop off a sideline inbound pass from Ball.

  • #3, Feb. 11, New Orleans 138, Portland 117

    One of Williamson’s three games of 30-plus points, but the only such instance that resulted in a victory, he scored an efficient 31 points on 10/17 shooting from the field, plus 11/14 foul shooting. He gave the Trail Blazers fits in a pair of matchups sandwiched around the All-Star break, putting up 25 points at Moda Center in a Feb. 21 win for New Orleans.

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