The anticipation of Zion Williamson’s NBA debut couldn’t have been higher. ESPN flexed its national TV schedule to make sure everyone could watch as the Pelicans played host to the Spurs Wednesday night. 

Williamson, who missed the first three months of the season while rehabbing his surgically repaired meniscus, was immediately put into the starting lineup. He played his first four minutes without recording a bucket, though he did notch his first assist on a pinpoint dime out of a double team to a basket-cutting Brandon Ingram

In his second stint of playing time, Zion finally got on the board with his first NBA basket at the 10:37 mark of the second quarter, and it came in fitting fashion: An offensive rebound and put-back. 

You’re going to see a lot of buckets like that one over the course of Zion’s career, and certainly in the remainder of his rookie season as he works to get a feel for where he fits inside the Pelicans’ offense and within an NBA half-court game in general. In the meantime, offensive rebounds and pushing in transition are likely going to be his most reliable sources of scoring. 

Williamson definitely looked out of sorts through the first half. He was moving pretty gingerly, or at least hesitantly, and never really attempted to explode athletically on either end. Zion finished his first NBA half with two points and three rebounds. 


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