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Thread: Thoughts on how to assess Zion's defense so far?

  1. #1

    Thoughts on how to assess Zion's defense so far?

    Is it:

    A. A conditioning issue because he wants to save his energy for offense
    B. An effort issue as per instructions from the coaching staff to not exert himself too much on that end
    C. Rookie growing pains/mental lapses
    D. A mindset issue:- he thinks other players should pick up the defensive slack because of what he provides offensively
    E. Somewhere between just not caring and the NBA game being a bit fast for him at this point

    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 07:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    Is it:

    A. A conditioning issue because he wants to save his energy for offense
    B. An effort issue as per instructions from the coaching staff to not exert himself too much on that end
    C. Rookie growing pains/mental lapses
    D. A mindset issue:- he thinks other players should pick up the defensive slack because of what he provides offensively
    E. Somewhere between just not caring and the NBA game being a bit fast for him at this point

    The answer is in the question.

  3. #3
    I think he cares but he has never had to be intelligent on that end and instead just relied on sheer athleticism to overcome inferior opponents. Now, he is in a league with guys who are more skilled than him, way smarter, and only a little less athletic vertically and more athletic laterally. And these are the results.

    A true dog would be heated with how they are getting embarrassed and would be fueled by this level of adversity they are facing and would go harder each and every game, probably picking up more fouls because of the aggressiveness, but learning. Zion is not that so he just gets a little disappointed and jogs back up court after every time a guy like Harrell embarrasses him
    @mcnamara247

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    I think he cares but he has never had to be intelligent on that end and instead just relied on sheer athleticism to overcome inferior opponents. Now, he is in a league with guys who are more skilled than him, way smarter, and only a little less athletic vertically and more athletic laterally. And these are the results.

    A true dog would be heated with how they are getting embarrassed and would be fueled by this level of adversity they are facing and would go harder each and every game, probably picking up more fouls because of the aggressiveness, but learning. Zion is not that so he just gets a little disappointed and jogs back up court after every time a guy like Harrell embarrasses him
    Stan needs to be on everyone's ****** who just jogs back in defence, and drag those who do

    You've alluded to some sort of rift between Zion and the ball club that that is causing them to treat him with kid gloves, which you are loathe to elaborate on
    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 11:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    I think he cares but he has never had to be intelligent on that end and instead just relied on sheer athleticism to overcome inferior opponents. Now, he is in a league with guys who are more skilled than him, way smarter, and only a little less athletic vertically and more athletic laterally. And these are the results.

    A true dog would be heated with how they are getting embarrassed and would be fueled by this level of adversity they are facing and would go harder each and every game, probably picking up more fouls because of the aggressiveness, but learning. Zion is not that so he just gets a little disappointed and jogs back up court after every time a guy like Harrell embarrasses him
    Define "a little less athletic vertically," lmao. And I don't think Zion lacks lateral athleticism, because that is patently clear on offense, he couldn't move the way he does without being incredibly agile laterally, or else he'd be an entirely straight line driver.

    The problem is moreso that his footwork is terrible, and this has always been a problem, going back to college. Transition wise, he's getting better at getting back on D but there are obviously still many instances where he doesn't, and I would be inclined to believe it is an effort/conditioning issue, but of course I could be wrong. I don't think any of these are non-correctable, btw.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    Is it:

    A. A conditioning issue because he wants to save his energy for offense
    B. An effort issue as per instructions from the coaching staff to not exert himself too much on that end
    C. Rookie growing pains/mental lapses
    D. A mindset issue:- he thinks other players should pick up the defensive slack because of what he provides offensively
    E. Somewhere between just not caring and the NBA game being a bit fast for him at this point

    He's not even that bad individually lmao. Terrible footwork and lazy in transition but solid instincts in the half court. Relax man, Rome wasn't built in a day.

  7. #7
    When Zion wants the loose ball (usually an offensive board), he draws on energy from some other realm and can out vert, out lateral and out anticipate anyone

    I think he's just generally uninterested in playing defense outside of rebounding
    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 12:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! wuggie's Avatar
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    It seems like a conditioning issue and effort. I'd rather him play fewer minutes with decent defense, than umm....what he's been doing.

    R.I.P. to HunnyB/FlyGirl

  9. #9
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! pelicanchamp's Avatar
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    Zion should lose more weight if possible. Lose 15 lbs. get to 270. Improve shooting.

    Defense is going to improve. He needs to move to SF after he sheds weight. Zion has to improve shooting and stop turning the ball over. His defense is going to take time. If he?s still playing weak defense after 164 games then I will be more concerned.

    This team has a lot of work to do. We should give it time but consider trading Lonzo to Denver for Harris.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    I think the most noticeable thing about Zion is the defensive energy and motor isn't there. I think he will be fine over time but I don't think he has that Draymond Green type of passion and intensity on the defensive end.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Snarly View Post
    I think the most noticeable thing about Zion is the defensive energy and motor isn't there. I think he will be fine over time but I don't think he has that Draymond Green type of passion and intensity on the defensive end.
    That's one glaring difference

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    That's one glaring difference
    ...and that why I said:

    " Right now, offensively, he's Draymond Green on steroids....."
    Say Cannon Hinnant's Name.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by As I See It View Post
    ...and that why I said

    " Right now, offensively, he's Draymond Green on steroids....."
    Green in his prime was pretty good in the paint

    (Prime Green was) also a better passer and much better shooter than Zion.

    Not to forget Green won DPOTY in 2017. Zion sucks on D.

    You could argue that prime Green was Zion on steroids
    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 03:46 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    Green in his prime was pretty good in the paint

    (Prime Green was) also a better passer and much better shooter than Zion.

    Not to forget Green won DPOTY in 2017. Zion sucks on D.

    You could argue that prime Green was Zion on steroids
    You apparently think that, overall, Zion does not measure up to Green.

    Good News: No argument.

    Further: Draymond Green is more likely Zion's ceiling if Zion becomes proficient as a passer and decides to play defense (two massive if's)
    Last edited by As I See It; 01-16-2021 at 04:02 PM.

  15. #15
    The Franchise IVAN_NOH's Avatar
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    Well Zion is not AD, will never be half of AD.We better get used to him.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by IVAN_NOH View Post
    Well Zion is not AD, will never be half of AD.We better get used to him.
    You forget how terrible AD was defensively in his first few seasons. He was completely clueless, missing rotations on the daily. But, he turned himself into an all defence guy. He was actually pretty on point offensively from day 1, which was unexpected

    If Zion wants to be a great defender, he can be one. Not AD level, but a great one nonetheless
    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 04:09 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by As I See It View Post
    You apparently think that, overall, Zion does not measure up to Green.

    Good News: No argument.

    Further: Draymond Green is more likely Zion's ceiling if Zion becomes proficient as a passer and decides to play defense (two massive if's)
    I don't like the Green comparison. Dray was a facilitator first and foremost. Zion's instinct is drive and put ball in hoop
    Last edited by AusPel; 01-16-2021 at 04:15 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    I don't like the Green comparison. Dray was a facilitator first and foremost. Zion instinct is to score
    I respect the fact you don't like it....

    But it doesn't give you the right to try to belittle someone else who does....call them a troll....invite them to leave the forum....write off thoughts you don't agree with as trash.

    BTW: I also agree that Zion's instinct is to score as opposed to Draymond's instinct which is to win. Being a scorer got Pete Maravich and Alan Iverson into Spingfield and will likely get James Harden there too (regardless of what happens in Brooklyn). So there's hope for Zion.

  19. #19
    Apologies, sometimes I get a little too passionate when it comes to my Pellies

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by AusPel View Post
    Apologies, sometimes I get a little too passionate when it comes to my Pellies
    You're a big man, sir. Likewise. if I misspoke, I apologize.

  21. #21

  22. #22
    He's too heavy. He isn't nearly explosive vertically or laterally as he was in HS and Duke. There's almost always a learning curve defensively because guys are so much better than the previous level.

    This is why I stress it makes more sense to build a winner slowly with young guys on rookie contracts. Let the core go through the learning curve together. Timing is crucial in team building.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by da ThRONe View Post
    He's too heavy. He isn't nearly explosive vertically or laterally as he was in HS and Duke. There's almost always a learning curve defensively because guys are so much better than the previous level.

    This is why I stress it makes more sense to build a winner slowly with young guys on rookie contracts. Let the core go through the learning curve together. Timing is crucial in team building.
    Don't let folks here you say this about the chosen one or pride and joy and hope for this franchise baby Zion! Expect to get attacked with how many games he played, being an idiot for making assumptions so fast, and whining about a kid who is dominating.


    All jokes aside, as I've been consistently saying this all comes down to Zions camp and Pelicans front office trusting each other and being on the same page with his off season assignments and his habits. His step dad can't be the only one training him anymore and his mom can't be his damn nutritionist. They have to fall back and Zion has to learn how to be a man and mature and trust folks to do their jobs with him if we ever want this guy to truly get better.

    This whole babying thing that Griffin and the team does combined with the fans being so afraid to critique him is going to create a AD situation all over again but folks are too blind to realize it.
    CAW CAW!!!

    -Founder and valuable member of the Caw Caw Boyz-

  24. #24
    Btw I hate the fact that MM said this week's ago in a pessimmistic tone which turned people away and made folks defensive, but he was 100 percent right with the facts he said about Zion and the assessments we all thought about him from Duke to the NBA. Zion williamson so far is not the same player we expected, and to be honest if I knew so far that this would be who we were getting I would have EASILY drafted Ja Morant over Zion. I feel like a few people only have the stones to say that and I'm honestly one of them.

    It's more than Zion tightening his handles, or learning defense, getting a jump shot, etc it's just his on court character so far that turned me off from him as well as interviews. He just so far doesn't scream leader, person who leave it all on the court, passionate gamer, etc like he showed at Duke. And if anyone feels that is the same person they are lying to themselves.

    I disagree with MM assessment that he lost his love for basketball, I believe it's more that Zion needs a sports psychologist to help with trusting his body and the mental block of preservation with his health. It's also possible with the surgery he lost his explosion or Pelicans medical staff at the time told him to preserve his movement with the whole "learn how to move kinetics" thing so it can honestly be the Pelicans organization telling Z to not move as freely to preserve his overall longevity.

    The question is if this is true, is this just a early thing for his career or is this a forever thing. Also what kind of habits will that create with a young kid? With all this in mind, it just screams that Duke Zion is likely dead due to the injury and how his body is constructed, and this new heavier slower version of Zion is TBH not the type of player I feel comfortable in building a franchise around.

    If I knew this will be Zion future projection a more polished athletic version of Zach Randolph, I will trade Zion while he is hot.

    If I'm investing in a future, I want my franchise to be a better leader, have way less movement limitations, and can play defense. But thats just me.
    Last edited by Silverfoxx; 01-17-2021 at 11:16 AM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverfoxx View Post
    Btw I hate the fact that MM said this week's ago in a pessimmistic tone which turned people away and made folks defensive, but he was 100 percent right with the facts he said about Zion and the assessments we all thought about him from Duke to the NBA. Zion williamson so far is not the same player we expected, and to be honest if I knew so far that this would be who we were getting I would have EASILY drafted Ja Morant over Zion. I feel like a few people only have the stones to say that and I'm honestly one of them.

    It's more than Zion tightening his handles, or learning defense, getting a jump shot, etc it's just his on court character so far that turned me off from him as well as interviews. He just so far doesn't scream leader, person who leave it all on the court, passionate gamer, etc like he showed at Duke. And if anyone feels that is the same person they are lying to themselves.

    I disagree with MM assessment that he lost his love for basketball, I believe it's more that Zion needs a sports psychologist to help with trusting his body and the mental block of preservation with his health. It's also possible with the surgery he lost his explosion or Pelicans medical staff at the time told him to preserve his movement with the whole "learn how to move kinetics" thing so it can honestly be the Pelicans organization telling Z to not move as freely to preserve his overall longevity.

    The question is if this is true, is this just a early thing for his career or is this a forever thing. Also what kind of habits will that create with a young kid? With all this in mind, it just screams that Duke Zion is likely dead due to the injury and how his body is constructed, and this new heavier slower version of Zion is TBH not the type of player I feel comfortable in building a franchise around.

    If I knew this will be Zion future projection a more polished athletic version of Zach Randolph, I will trade Zion while he is hot.

    If I'm investing in a future, I want my franchise to be a better leader, have way less movement limitations, and can play defense. But thats just me.
    His career, thus far, is certainly trending as you suggest.

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