There’s no doubt that Williamson is a special player, but he has appeared in just 85 games over the first three years of his NBA career.
Injuries and conditioning issues have been major storylines for the 22-year-old during his career so far, and he’d surely love to put an end to those concerns in the upcoming season.
Based on a recent development, it sounds like he’s on track to do just that.
“The Pelicans star just returned to New Orleans after spending two months in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., executing a meticulous plan crafted with his strength and conditioning coach, Jasper Bibbs, to prepare for a pivotal year for him and the Pelicans,” wrote William Guillory of The Athletic. “In an exclusive interview, Bibbs said the results have been ‘phenomenal.'”
Here’s what Bibbs had to say.
“He’s in fantastic shape,” Bibbs told The Athletic. “He’s been committed to putting in the work day in and day out. I’m really proud of what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s a better athlete now than he’s ever been.”
Bibbs seems very pleased with the progress Williamson has made this offseason.
“(His body composition) has improved at an extremely high level,” Bibbs said. “That’s all I’ll say.”
Needless to say, this is great news for the Pelicans.
A Statement Year For Williamson?
Williamson has a lot to prove this season.
While he has shown flashes of superstar potential at the NBA level, he needs to show that he’s not an injury-prone player.
When the Duke University product is on the floor, he’s one of the best young players in the league.
In his rookie campaign (the 2019-20 season), he averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest.
Throwback to when Zion Williamson scored 17 Consecutive Points in the 4th Quarter of his NBA Debutpic.twitter.com/ddGdvxghp0
— NBA Muse (@NBAMuse24) September 19, 2022
In the 2020-21 season, he averaged 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, and he earned his first All-Star selection in the process.
So far in his NBA career, he has knocked down a whopping 60.4 percent of his shots from the field.
He has also displayed an ability to hit shots from beyond the arc, as he has made 33.3 percent of his attempts from deep.
Williamson is capable of becoming one of the NBA’s top players, and he’ll surely look to take a step forward this season.
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) September 20, 2022
“Multiple people around the team have told me this: He cannot wait to get back on the floor this year,” Pelicans insider Andrew Lopez reported recently.
A Starting Lineup With Loads Of Potential
The Pelicans are going to roll out one of the most talented starting lineups in the league this season.
It’s certainly not going to be a traditional lineup, especially at the guard spots, but a starting five that features C.J. McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas is a very exciting unit.
The Pelicans made the playoffs last season and pushed the Phoenix Suns to six games in a series that many folks thought would end in four.
If the dominoes fall New Orleans’ way this season, the team could make some noise in the Western Conference and perhaps do some damage in the 2023 playoffs.