Zion Williamson believes his time has come. The Pelicans star has been with the team for two seasons proving that he is as good as expected, but this has not served to bring about the collective success of being a playoff team. You need that to change.
In an interview with Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels from SiriusXM Radio, The 21-year-old stressed that for the 2021-22 season there is no other scenario than to play the postseason and that “it was a disgusting feeling” not to be last year.
“We weren’t in the playoffs, and while I was watching, I was like, ‘We can be there.’ It’s like he knows we can be there this year. Something has changed in me and my thought is that it will not happen again. It will not happen again. When I started training, everything I did, every rep… it all felt personal. Everything was like… this year nothing is going to prevent us from entering the playoffs. I will make sure to do my part, and even more so, to make sure that my teammates see me working for it, “he says.
Of course, Zion enters the season with the right mindset, but fulfilling that expectation is not so easy. On the one hand, the level of the Western Conference is still very high. On the other, the market and the movements of New Orleans do not seem to have meant a quality jump in the squad. Williamson will be joined by Brandon Ingram, but … will that be enough?
It’s hard to see the Louisiana team occupying one of the top six places in the West, not so much being a play-in team (7-10). Perhaps this context is more realistic for the team, but it is still not assured. What we certainly do not know is how it would affect the Duke-trained player to see the playoffs again on television. New Orleans needs the team to function if it wants Zion to be its long-term leader.
(Photograph by David Berding / Getty Images)