"I was too laid back tonight" - Zion Williamson avoids sugarcoating his lack of efforts after Lakers crush Pelicans
On Thursday night, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans found themselves with a chance to advance to the finals of the in-season tournament. After the loss, the All-Star did not shy away from admitting he needed to do more.
Behind another stellar showing from LeBron James, the LA Lakers were able to take down the Pelicans in dominant fashion. In the end, they walked away with a 139-89 victory to move on to the finals.
When asked about his performance, Zion Williamson did not shy away from blame. He cited his lack of aggressiveness, stating that he was to laid back for such a big matchup.
"I got to be more aggressive finding my shot, do more things to get my team going," Williamson said. "I think I was too laid back tonight and I just can't do that."
Williamson logged 25 minutes in Thursday's loss and finished with 13 points, two rebounds and three assists. Now eliminated from the in-season tournament, the Pelicans can shift their entire focus back on the regular season. New Orleans is currently in eight place in the Western Conference with a record of 12-11.
The New Orleans Pelicans need an aggressive Zion Williamson to reach their potential
Zion Williamson's assestment of his game was spot on. In any big matchup moving forward, they need him to be more assertive. When he is able to get himself going, it opens up the floor for those around him as well.
The New Orleans Pelicans have a talented roster, but for them to play at their best, they need an aggressive Williamson. He attempted just eight shots against the LA Lakers on Thursday. That low volume is not going to cut it in such a competitive matchup.
Five different players finished with more shot attempts than Williamson against the Lakers. As the team's star player, that is unacceptable in a matchup like the semifinals. Williamson is their main source of offense, and he needs to operate like it on a nightly basis.
While this lackluster performance might have hurt their in-season tournament chances, it could be a wake up call for the former No. 1 pick. As he admitted, he needs to be more locked in during big-time matchups. Thursday's blowout loss could prove to be valuable for Williamson and the Pelicans come playoff time. Especially in their current situation, as their postseason journey might begin with the play-in tournament.