Zion Williamson is balling out through the first nine games of his career, and even he is surprised by well he’s played so far.
“I didn’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson told reporters Tuesday night after posting a game-high 31 points in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 138-117 blowout of the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.
The 19-year-old rookie added nine rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-of-17 from the field.
Per The Athletic:
“I expected to make an impact, but I didn’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson said. “I was kind of looking to come in and just kind of fit in and just not try to mess up. My teammates and coaches are always pushing me, like, ‘No, be outside the box.’”
The No. 1 pick in last year’s draft is averaging 21 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 57.6 percent from the field.
“He’s a walking 24-and-8 guy. He’s a guy that you think he’s doing well, then you look up and he’s 39 (points) and four (rebounds). That’s the kind of player he is,” Josh Hart said. “He’s only played (nine) games. It’s scary to see how good he is this early. Hopefully, he can continue to keep getting better day by day. He’s going to be a problem.”
As his reputation grows, he’ll have to find different ways to be effective with more teams forcing him to rely on his weaknesses.
“People are trying to find their own way (to stop me), but I feel like my game is so unique that I’ll be able to adjust to it on the fly,” Williamson said. “At the end of the day, I’m 19. I’ve still got a lot of room for growing. I will mess up. I’m not perfect, I will have bad games. I’m just going to learn from them.”