Rookie of the Year: Ja vs. Zion

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Byron Howell, Staff Writer

Now that Zion Williamson has debuted into the league, the rookie of the year is debatable. The New Orleans Pelicans were struggling to contend in the west. They were the 12th seed in the West with a 17-28 record. When Zion debuted on January 22nd, he looked like he didn’t miss a step. He had 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists against the Spurs. He even scored 17 points in the 4th Quarter.

The Pelicans are now the tenth seed with a 25-33 record. With Zion, the Pelicans are 7-6. The first-round pick is averaging 22.8 points, 2.3 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game on 58.6% Field Goal Percentage. He is even averaging 41.7% from 3 pointers. Zion can do everything: Score, Rebound, Block, and he’s a highlight reel. He can get to the rim by catching lobs or dunking. He’s often compared to Shaquille O’Neal or Lebron James. His team has a lot of talent as well with Jrue Holiday, JJ Reddick, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram who became a first time All-Star this year.

Despite this miracle, his health is a factor. Williamson has been out for almost half of the season while recovering from knee surgery. His weight has been something critics and fans talk about as he’s more than 280 pounds. However, he said in an interview;

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his rehab changed how he walks, runs, and playing the game.

Ja Morant is the top pick for this award. Ja is averaging 17.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game on 49.3 Field Goal Percentage and 34.5 on three-point range. He’s played most of the season and it’s hard to miss his flashy highlights. He has quick speed and athleticism to get to the rim. He’s even underrated as a passer as he assisted or scored in close games. The Memphis Grizzlies are 27-24 with him. They are currently the 8th seed and they’ve surprised everyone with the underrated talent that they have. Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. have been valuable second or third options to help the team. Whoever the rookie of the year, they both have tough schedules ahead to make the playoffs.