Zion Williamson’s streak of consecutive 20-point games has come to an end at 14. I didn’t get to watch this game, but I’m just going to guess that Bam Adebayo shut him down in the same way he shut down Giannis. Either that, or Lonzo Ball got a big head due to his hot three-point shooting and froze Williamson out of the offense. But I feel like the first scenario is a lot more likely.
An even more unlikely scenario is that Kelly Olynyk shut Williamson down, but we’re not even going to go there. Not even going to go there.
This is Williamson’s 3rd lowest point total of the season, unless for some reason you count DNPs as zero points, in which case this is his 48th lowest point total of the season. In any case, this is not quite the amount of pointage that we’ve come to expect from Williamson. It’s not too far off from all those 20 and 21-point games he had, but the 20-point barrier is a big one when it comes to people recognizing a game as “good” or not.
If he doesn’t want this to happen again, he has to start shooting more threes. He’s a total beast in the paint, it’s true, no one can deny it, but scoring in the paint often requires the help of teammates to get you the ball in the first place. With threes, he can just stand out there, receive the ball, and chuck. It’s easy. He could do it 20 times a game if he wanted, because who’s going to guard him out there when they’re so worried about what he’ll do if he gets closer to the basket?
Note: the Pelicans would probably not make the playoffs in this scenario, but what’s more important: making the ‘offs in order to get swept by the Lakers, or padding Williamson’s stats so that he’s averaging 30?