By: Jay Yeomans
Published: October 9, 2019
Zion Williamson didn’t take long to make a big splash for the New Orleans Pelicans.
In just his second preseason appearance, the former Duke star showed off his considerable talents in a 127-125 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls.
Williamson registered a game-high 29 points on 12-for-13 shooting from the floor and 5-for-8 from the foul line. He added four rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 27 minutes on the floor.
The No. 1 pick showed that he is a matchup nightmare for opposing big men as he attacked the basket in transition as well as in the flow of the offense before finishing with tough layups and huge dunks.
Williamson wasn’t the only rookie to make a big impact in the matchup between the Bulls and the Pelicans.
Top 10 pick Coby White had a strong showing off the bench for the Bulls finishing with 13 points, three boards and three assists in 27 minutes.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker also delivered in a big way coming off the bench scoring 13 points and handing out a team-high seven assists in 19 minutes. He was especially impressive down the stretch scoring the last seven points for the Pelicans to push them over the top.
The Washington Wizards also had a pair of rookies who made big impressions as they crushed the CBA’s Guangzhou Long-Lions 137-98.
Despite playing just 16 minutes, Rui Hachimura led the Wizards’ starting five in scoring and rebounding with 11 points and seven boards while second-round pick Admiral Schofield played a big role for the second unit as he delivered 15 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-5 from 3-point land. He added seven rebounds and four assists and was a team-best +33 in 22 minutes on the court.
De’Andre Hunter showed off some of his immense potential as the Atlanta Hawks dropped a 97-88 decision to the Orlando Magic. In the setback, the No. 4 overall pick totaled 13 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor while adding five boards, two helpers and a block in 25 minutes.
Cam Reddish didn’t have nearly as much success for the Hawks recording just four points on 1-for-7 shooting from the floor and 0-for-5 from 3-point land.
Tyler Herro played valuable minutes in a starting role as his Miami Heat came away with a 108-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. While his numbers don’t compare to some of the other rookies on Wednesday night, he did manage eight points, six rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes.
His former Kentucky Wildcat teammate, PJ Washington also saw good minutes in the contest coming off the bench for the Hornets and showed off his scoring touch with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line in 20 Minutes.
He wasn’t the only rookie to reach double figures in scoring off the bench for the Hornets, however, as Caleb Martin – an undrafted wing out of Nevada – chalked up 14 points, along with three rebounds and two helpers in 18 minutes.