Coming out of college, Zion Williamson was the most highly anticipated draftee since Lebron James in 2003. Ever since he was in High School, he’s been high on the radar of NBA teams and it’s easy to see why. Standing at just 6’6, Zion weighs in at an insane 285 pounds, currently making him the second-heaviest NBA player, only behind 7’3 Boban Marjanović. But despite how heavy he is, he has around a 43-inch vertical leap, although some people think it could be higher. But there’s more to Zion’s game than his insane jumping ability.
As well as great athleticism, Zion is incredibly strong in his upper body. You don’t even need me to tell you that but this video of him ripping the ball from Knicks Forward, Kevin Knox, puts it on display. Watching Zion play is just bully ball.
Something that has surprised me about Zion, though, is how well he shoots the three-ball. Exceptionally strong players, like Zion, don’t tend to be good shooters as they are too strong. But in college, Zion converted on 34% of his attempts from behind the arc and so far in the NBA, he’s converted on 43% of attempts, although he has only attempted 14 threes in the NBA. His mechanics on his shooting form do look a bit clunky though so I expect him to work on his form a lot. Nevertheless, this is very promising for Zion as a respectable 3 point shot is so valuable in today’s NBA and will make him so much harder to guard.
Obviously, Zion gets the vast majority of his points in the paint and he’s a very efficient finisher from that area. On all 2 pointers, he averages 59% but from 0-3 feet, he averages 67%. His strength is a huge factor in how well he shoots from this area but that doesn’t take anything away from him. He can get to his spot against any player and he can finish with either hand. Despite him standing at a relatively short 6’6, he’s one of the best post players in the league and I expect to see a lot more post-ups from him this season. Other than Joel Embiid, Steven Adams, and Boban Marjanović, I’d say he can post any player up in the league.
So what can we expect from him this season? Well certainly to play more games, as he only played 24 last season due to injury. He is injury-free at the moment and hopefully, he stays that way. What has been a concern of mine with Zion for a while now is just how heavy he is. With him being so heavy, it makes him very injury prone and this is something he really needs to be careful with. The Pelicans have been doing a lot of work with him in this area though so this season, I’m expecting Zion to be mostly healthy. And if Zion stays healthy for the whole season, then we can expect to see what he should’ve been like in his rookie season.