It’s a bit of analysis that seems to come across every Western Conference preview when it comes to the Pelicans:
“If Zion Williamson can stay healthy…”
It’s big”TWO” – over three seasons Williamson played in 85 games and lost 141, including last season. But after foot surgery he’s with a new strength and conditioning coach in Jasper Bibbs, and Bibbs spoke to Zion with The Athletic’s William Guillory.
“He’s in great shape,” Bibbs told The Athletic. “He’s committed to putting in the work day in and day out. I am very proud of what he is able to achieve. He is now a better athlete than he has ever been…
“We focused on addressing body composition – body weight, body fat, etc. – and maintain and improve flexibility, strength and power. We also focused on improving her overall well-being. The more weight it carries, the more stress it puts on the body. We focused on aerobic and basketball-specific aerobic conditioning. One of the main goals was to get Zion back to the same athletic ability he had before the injury. In the process, he has improved athletically…
“I’m very pleased with his commitment not only to his conditioning, but his commitment to all the hard work on soft tissue, stretching and nutrition. It is great for nutrition. I am very happy about that for him. As he continues his NBA career, it’s amazing that he’s starting to develop these habits right now at such a young point in his career.”
Bibbs wouldn’t give up Zion’s weight (of course he didn’t). However, everyone will be able to see in a week how it looks and is moving.
Questions have been raised about Zion’s fitness habits and playing style, but when he’s on the court he looks every bit the No. 1 pick and the progeny talent he’s projected to be. Two seasons ago, when Stan Van Gundy made him more of a point forward at times, Zion average 27 points a game shooting 61.1%, plus 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game, and was like the best interior scorer in the game. Now a pair with him the shot creation and shooting of CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, surrounded by good role players (Larry Nance, Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas) and suddenly the Pelicans look much more dangerous.
If Zion can stay healthy.
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Hop aboard the Zion hype bandwagon: His trainer says he’s ‘in great shape’ appeared first on NBCSports.com