Since he’s gotten back to playing, Zion Williamson has been just about everything the Pelicans, the NBA, and fans could have hoped for. And as with other great players, he’s making things easier for his teammates, and making them better through a variety of ways.
Take, for example, Lonzo Ball. Ball has revamped his outside shot into something resembling a weapon this season, which was always going to be his main area of improvement. But, having boosted his shooting numbers, Lonzo is able to be on the court more often, which means playing with Zion, which means one of the best young passers in the NBA gets to work with the best possible alley-oop target.
That means we get to see things like this:
HAIL MARY TO ZION pic.twitter.com/JhD7QEEuwH
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 8, 2020
What makes plays like that so fun is the split-second after seeing Lonzo pull up and fire the pass from a spot that no one ever passes in the backcourt. We go from the typical “point guard bringing up the ball for a set” to “holy shit what is happening?” in an instant, and then having the reveal be “Zion doing awesome thing” really sells it.
This is why the Pelicans were supposed to be on national television so many times that Zion’s absence may have hurt the league’s ratings to start the season.