New Orleans' young star Zion Williamson just did it again, this time on Saturday with a dominant performance in the Pelicans' 112-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
"He's a beast,'' said Mavs Rick Carlisle after the 20-year-old's bullish 38-point effort, adding that Zion is "a Shaquille O'Neal-like force of nature with a point guard skillset.''
Zion shot 65 percent in this one, and on the night before against Denver scored 39 points. He's now gone nine straight games with 20-plus points while also shooting 50 percent from the field ... some of it fueled by Pels coach Stan Van Gundy's clever move to put the ball in Zion's hands.
The Pels offense now runs through him.
And if you try to guard Zion? Zion runs through you.
“You’ve got to have a lot of courage to stand in there get run over by that guy,” Carlisle said. “Because he’s coming at you fast. He’s coming at you like, it’s not just the AmTrack, it’s the Acela. It’s faster and it doesn’t stop. ... It’s something else.”
Added Mavs big man Boban Marjanovic: "You don’t expect somebody to jump from the free-throw line and he already has a layup. It’s cool. You’ve never seen a player like that. I’ve never seen it.”
The Mavs know something about unique players, in the form of Luka Doncic. (Who, by the way, did not play in the Pels' win due to a sore back.)
But yes, Zion, in his own way, is just as unusually gifted.
Zion, the former No. 1 overall pick from 2019, is 6-7 and 284 and his numbers, his polish and the comparisons keep going up and up.
And what does the kid think of the comps?
"It's an honor to hear my name in those categories, but I am who I am: Zion,'' Williamson said. "I'm trying to be the first and only Zion. That's all there is to it."