Zion Williamson Had Powerful One-Word Answer for Why Pelicans Have Become a Force

The Pelicans star had an easy explanation for why the team is playing its best basketball of the season.
Apr 2, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles
Apr 2, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Orleans Pelicans have won four straight games following Friday night's 114-109 win over the Golden State Warriors, and heading into the final game of the regular season, New Orleans is sitting in the No. 6 spot in the West and could avoid the play-in with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the regular season finale on Sunday.

Pelicans star Zion Williamson was asked what is leading New Orleans to playing some of its best basketball of the year.

"Trust," Williamson began. "And that goes for the players and the coaches. At the beginning of the season, we were hype but we weren't all bought in fully. But when you watch us play now, you see it on offense and defense, we're all bought in. We all trust each other...any team that wins a championship, they have ultimate trust in each other."

Perhaps a bigger reason for New Orleans' success this season is Williamson's good health. Despite an injury-riddled first four seasons in the NBA, Williamson has been able to stay on the court in year five. The Pelicans' star has played in 69 of the team's 81 games this season, averaging 23.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and five assists on 57.4% shooting from the floor.

New Orleans will continue to need Williamson's good health, and trust of its roster and coaching staff, to achieve its goals in the upcoming postseason.

Mike McDaniel


Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.