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Sport Zion Williamson puts on show with fourth-quarter barrage, but Pelicans fall to Spurs in NBA debut

10:00  23 january  2020
10:00  23 january  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22

  Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22 Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22

Zion Williamson scored 22 points in his NBA debut , but LaMarcus Aldridge topped him with 32 points and 14 rebounds as the visiting San Antonio Spurs He struggled for three quarters before scoring 17 consecutive Pelicans points to briefly give them the lead in the fourth quarter before sitting out the

Pelicans vs Spurs January 22, 2019-20 NBA Season 警告:視頻禁止轉載!!! “ NBA video clips used in content on this channel are licensed through partnership with NBA Playmakers.” Zion Williamson Puts On A 4Q Show In NBA Debut | Highlights - Продолжительность: 1:45 Bleacher

NEW ORLEANS — For almost 3½ quarters, the prized prospect lacked any highlight reels. For half a quarter, Zion Williamson almost did everything.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) pulls in a rebound against San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The Spurs won 121-117. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)© ASSOCIATED PRESS New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) pulls in a rebound against San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The Spurs won 121-117. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

After initially laboring with his rust, conditioning and ball-handling, Williamson dominated with surprisingly stellar outside shooting, play-making and hustle.

The Pelicans still lost, 121-117 to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at Smoothie King Center. But Williamson showed remarkable progress with his development in his regular-season debut after missing the first 44 games while rehabbing his right knee. He posted 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and made all four 3-point attempts after appearing sloppy with his conditioning and five turnovers in 18 minutes.

Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22

  Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22 Rob Parker thinks the experience of Rodgers will win out

Zion Williamson soared in his first NBA preseason game on Monday night as the New Orleans Pelicans faced the Atlanta Hawks.

After missing the first 44 games of his rookie campaign, Zion Williamson debuts for the New Orleans Pelicans with a 22-point performance, including a stretch of 17 straight in the fourth quarter with four 3-pointers. Williamson 's first NBA game is spoiled with a Pelicans ' loss to the San Antonio Spurs

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"If he plays absolutely great, I’m not going to be overly excited about it," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said beforehand. "If he doesn’t play good at all, I’m not going to be overly excited about it. It will be an adjustment period with the speed of the game and everything."

Because of that adjustment period, Williamson did not initially look like the player that averaged 23.3 points on 71.4% shooting in four preseason games. But as Gentry noted, "I don’t count the preseason."

Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22

  Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut for Pelicans on Jan. 22 Shannon thinks Luka is comparable to Larry Bird

Williamson watched the final minutes of his debut from the bench after scoring 17 fourth quarter points. Things may have started slowly for Zion Williamson in his NBA debut against the San Antonio Spurs on With Williamson leading the way, the Pelicans were able to make a run and pull within three after being down Last year's No. 1 overall pick put on a show to close his NBA debut .

Zion Williamson impressed on his long-awaited NBA debut but his 17 straight fourth - quarter points were not enough to earn the New Orleans Pelicans victory against He went on to score all four of his three-point shots in the game and became the first player in NBA history to achieve this feat on debut .

Williamson initially looked less like a No. 1 prospect and more like an unproven rookie. He did not score until the second quarter, while the Pelicans used him more as a decoy out of double teams. With Williamson wearing a sleeve around his right knee, he looked noticeably winded even after playing in only four-minute bursts. Gentry joked beforehand that he "just told him to try to dunk on everybody." But for a while, Williamson dunked on nobody.

That all changed in the fourth quarter. In one sequence, Williamson made a 3-pointer from the top of the key, converted on a lob and then sank another 3 from the top of the key. Williamson showed so much promise that Pelicans fans chanted "We want Zion!" during crunch time. Instead, the Pelicans stuck to their minutes limit on Williamson.

Anonymous NBA GM: I would’ve drafted Ja Morant No. 1 over Zion Williamson

  Anonymous NBA GM: I would’ve drafted Ja Morant No. 1 over Zion Williamson Before the lottery, a rumor emerged the Suns would draft Ja Morant over Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick. The notion was so pernicious, Phoenix quickly denied it. © Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThe theory never got tested. The Pelicans got the No. 1 pick and chose Williamson. The Suns got the No. 6 pick and traded it.But there was apparently one Western Conference general manager who would’ve taken Williamson over Morant.Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports:“I wouldn’t have taken him No. 1 even back then,” a Western Conference general manager said.

For veteran NBA fans, Williamson resembles a modern version of Hall of Fame forward Charles Barkley – a relentless physical Whatever Williamson ends up producing over the second half of this season, there will be plenty of curious viewers watching the Pelicans despite their terrible record.

Zion Williamson scored 22 points in his NBA debut , but LaMarcus Aldridge topped him with 32 points and 14 rebounds as the visiting San Antonio Spurs He struggled for three quarters before scoring 17 consecutive Pelicans points to briefly give them the lead in the fourth quarter before sitting out the

"I don’t think we’re saying 10 games in, we’ll know exactly where we are and what we are," Gentry said beforehand. "He might struggle to find that because we’ve had so many different lineups already. But just having him on the floor though will add confidence to our group and I think we’ll find a way to integrate himself into what we’re doing. Our guys will find a way to help him do that."

After struggling to do that for 3½ quarters, the Pelicans and Williamson found some solutions. They appear likely to solve more problems once Williamson steps on the floor for more NBA games.

Then again, the Pelicans will not really count Williamson’s regular-season debut, either.

Follow Mark Medina on Twitter @MarkG_Medina.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Zion Williamson puts on show with fourth-quarter barrage, but Pelicans fall to Spurs in NBA debut

Related slideshow: Top images from the NBA season (provided by imagn)

a group of people walking on the court: New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) and forward Brandon Ingram (14) and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) battle for a rebound during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center on January 22, 2020. 

Pelicans star rookie Zion Williamson dealing with sprained toe .
It doesn't sound serious, but the last things the Pelicans want is for Williamson to suffer any setbacks.Unfortunately for New Orleans, the injury bug has popped up once again surrounding Williamson. The team added him to its injury report ahead of Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

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