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Rex Chapman compares defending Zion Williamson to Michael Jordan


Zion Williamson is one of the most promising young players in the Association. Although he had a ton of expectations to meet, Zion is fulfilling them with confidence. Coming into the league as a 19-year-old with more followers than most NBA players, Zion was in the spotlight. Many players would crack under that kind of pressure but not him. The New Orleans superstar is proving to everyone that he can be as dominant as people were saying before he even came to the league.

The No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft has played in 44 games this season, in which he averaged 26.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3,5 assists per game. He was genuinely unstoppable in March, scoring 28.7 points per game. However, the most intriguing part of Williamson's game is his ability to score from the paint. Zion is shooting 62.4% from the field this season, and in the last month, it was a mind-blowing 64.5%.

In a win against the Boston Celtics, Zion recorded 28 points - that was his 24th straight game scoring at least 20 points on 50% or better shooting. He's scoring monstrous 19.7 points from the paint. Zion is clearly going old school and doesn't mean to slow down anytime soon.

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"Stan Van Gundy and I watched Zion together, and that was even before he knew he was going to coach the Pelicans. And I remember specifically that he asked me what I think about Zion Williamson, and I said that he's incredible. He's insane. He's like Draymond Green on steroids. That's what I envisioned him like. Because he can get it off the board like Charles Barkley, he can go coast to coast, he's built like Rodney Rodgers. He's explosive, bouncy also a lefty. But he's got more length than Draymond; he's got the same kind of feel, maybe quite not the passer that Draymond is right now, but still, he's a hell of a passer. He's got great vision, he's unselfish. And Stan has decided to let Zion a little bit more of the one, and man, he's fuc**** carrying it up."

Rex Chapman, The Rex Chapman show

Still, Chapman pointed out that Zion's domination around the rim also points to a weakness in his game. Same as all the athletic superstars we had, a young Lebron or MJ, Zion's dominance is one-dimensional. There is a way to defend him. 

"I just hope he stays healthy because he's a generational type of player. I remember when Jason Kidd couldn't shoot, when Rajon Rondo couldn't shoot, Lonzo Ball couldn't shoot, and now he completely changed his shot. At some point, Zion will become a serviceable shooter of the basketball just like Michael Jordan did. We all played off Michael and made him make shots. Then if he makes two or three, you would get up on him. That's the way they play Zion now."

Rex Chapman, The Rex Chapman show

Priority no.1 for Zion was to lose some weight and learn to use his raw athleticism in a way that doesn't put his long-term health in danger - Williamson is literally too strong for his body. Once that's taken care of, developing a reliable shot will become the next step in his offensive evolution. If that happens while Zion is still in his athletic prime, it's game over for 29 defenses in the NBA. 

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