Tag: Duke Blue Devils

Nike Blamed For Zion Williamson’s Injury

In what might be the most bizarre moment of the year, Duke star Zion Williamson suffered a leg injury after blowing out his sneakers on Wednesday’s night game vs North Carolina.

At the start of the game around 19:30 in the first half, Zion Williamson came off a handoff play. As he was driving to the basket, he did a half spin move and collapsed. Zion blew out his sneakers and suffered a mild knee sprain leaving him out the rest of the game.

The Blue Devils went on to lose against North Carolina 88 -72, R.J. Barrett took on the scoring load ending the game with 33 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Nike is hoping to have an investigation on the incident and has issued a statement on Zion’s injury and shoe blowing out:

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

Nike’s stock has started to drop since the accident and they are being viewed in a negative way.

One of the more notable things about Zion is his size, at 6’7 284lbs he is a human truck. With his crazy athleticism and force exerted on that play, maybe the sneaker was not to blame for his injury.

It should be noted, that this injury could be a combination of both poor manufacturing of the footwear as well as the force Zion exerted on the sneaker.

Furthermore, this injury sparked a conversation on if Zion should sit out the rest of the season or play. Zion is projected to go #1 in the NBA Draft in June. This injury has raised concerns of if this might affect his draft stock.

Zion has gained the support from Lebron James and former President Barack Obama for a speedy recovery.

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Early NBA Mock Draft 2019 (Picks #1-10)

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Zion Williamson

Strengths: Unique Physical Attributes, Finishing ability, Motor/Aggressive play, Upside
Weaknesses: Shooting consistency, Discipline on Defense

NBA Comparison: Charles Barkley/ Larry Johnson

2. New York Knicks – R.J. Barrett

Strengths: Scoring Ability, Creating Offense, Defensive Potential, Slashing ability, Upside
Weaknesses: Streaky shooter, Decision Making, Shot Selection

NBA Comparison: Andrew Wiggins/Demar DeRozan

3. Phoenix Suns – Ja Morant

Strengths: Point Guard Polish, Creating Offense, Scoring Ability, Athleticism, Upside
Weaknesses: Strength/Frame, Shooting Consistency

NBA Comparison: De’Aaron Fox

4. Chicago Bulls – Cameron Reddish

Strengths: Athleticism, Scoring Versatility, Playmaking Potential
Weaknesses: Motor, Consistency, Competitive Fire

NBA Comparison: Rudy Gay/Tyreke Evans

5. Atlanta Hawks – Rui Hachimura

Strengths: Offensive Versatility, Upside, Motor
Weaknesses: shooting ability, defensive consistency

NBA Comparison: Wilson Chandler

6. Memphis Grizzlies – Romeo Langford

Strengths: Scoring Ability, Defensive Potential, Athleticism
Weaknesses: Suspect Ball Handling, Streaky shooter, Motor

NBA Comparison: Khris Middleton/Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

7. Orlando Magic – Darius Garland

Strengths: Scoring Ability, Shot Creator, Playmaking Potential
Weaknesses: Decision Making, Shot IQ, Turnovers, finishing ability

NBA Comparison: Kemba Walker

8. Detroit Pistons – Jarrett Culver

Strengths: Offensive Versatility, Rebounding, Defensive Potential, Upside
Weaknesses: Shot IQ, Creating Offense, Defensive Discipline

NBA Comparison: Courtney Lee/Nicolas Batum

9. Washington Wizards – Kevin Porter Jr.

Strengths: Scoring Ability, Finishing ability, Ball Handling Ability, Upside
Weaknesses: Playmaking ability, Shooting ability

NBA Comparison: Kelly Oubre Jr./Justise Winslow

10. New Orleans Pelicans – Nassir Little

Strengths: Athleticism, Defensive Versatility, Motor, Physical tools
Weaknesses: Shooting Consistency, Offensive Polish, Creating Offense

NBA Comparison: Gerald Wallace

Is Zion Williamson The Next Lebron James?

Duke freshman Zion Williamson has garnered plenty of attention around the NCAA as potentially the second coming of Lebron James. The 6-7 285lb forward has dominated competition so far through three games into the college season.

The one thing that distinguishes Zion from everyone else is his crazy athleticism and his muscular frame for a college player. Zion is a force similar to Lebron in which they are both freight trains going at people. Zion has filled up the stat sheets with high flying dunks, stellar rebounding and even showing some shooting touch.

“This might be the most athleticism we’ve seen since Vince Carter,” said NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

Zion for the season is averaging 25.3 Points, 10.7 Rebounds and 2.7 assists. With these numbers, he is making a case that he is the best college basketball player right now as well as the potential number one overall pick come the 2019 NBA Draft.

Zion has drawn comparisons to that of Lakers star Lebron James. This is a huge comparison that Zion will be looked upon to live up to in the NBA. Lebron, at the age of 18, was scrutinized heavily but lived up to and exceeded expectations. Lebron came into the NBA straight out of high school and also being a player who was not only extremely athletic but having a high IQ for the game of basketball.

Zion is a freak of nature and someone who is going to be an instant star and high energy player for any team he is on and the truth is we have not seen anything like Zion in terms of his athleticism and skills at his frame and stature. This is a great thing as he is a new breed of basketball talent that we haven’t seen before with these abilities.

Zion Williamson isn’t a Lebron just yet and it is kind of unfair to compare the two. Nevertheless, with Zion’s abilities, he can very well put pressure on being better than Lebron if he exceeds past expectations.

Right now, Zion is his own animal with unlimited upside in his game. Only time will tell if he can live up to all the hype that is surrounding him.

Quarterfinal Prediction / Take

The First Round just rounded out with some great games were witnessed as teams gave it their all in order to proceed to the next round; taking another step further towards deciding who will be crowned this year’s National Champions.

Prediction Recap

Released earlier in the week, my predictions went 7-1.

The scores were scattered all over the place but the general decisions were more or so correct. Each team in the tourney has a shot of winning the title, making this year’s Quarterfinal a must see.

Saturday, May 19th

#6 Loyola vs. #3 Yale

Both are great teams here. Yale played a great UMASS team and came out the victor as the Bulldogs battled to score on Sean Sconone as he who made 10 saves to keep UMASS in the game.

Loyola kept the pace against Virginia, setting a lead at half 10-5. A late Virginia surge was stopped as Loyola went on to win 14-12.

Loyola’s offense has been great all season. The Loyola defense has to be locked down if they want to beat that dynamic Yale team. I’m going with another close game, but I’ll go with Yale to advance to the Semis. 15-13

Denver vs. #2 Albany

This will be another great game. Denver should be buzzing off their upset against Norte Dame.

If the Pios can find a way to stop that Great Dane offense, they’ll be able to win. However, I don’t think that will be the case.

Albany will also be up against Trevor Baptiste, the best Face-Off player in the country. He will matchup nicely against TD Ierlan, who is widely considered the #2 to Baptiste. It will be a true battle of who will win the face offs considering the legitimacy of both specialists. I’m going with Albany. 13-8

Sunday, May 20th

Cornell vs. #1 Maryland

Cornell is coming off an amazing win at the Dome, knocking off a talented ranked Syracuse team. Cornell played lights out, capitalizing on Syracuse’s mistakes.

Maryland did not have an easy game against Robert Morris University.

Being outplayed by a hungrier team is not something the talented Terps are used too.

RMU took a 6-3 lead to half as the Terps looked shell shocked by the effort RMU had given them, winning on offense and defense against the nationally ranked #1 Maryland team.

Maryland stormed back scoring 6 in the third, out-scoring RMU 6-1. It was all Maryland from that point as they went in to win 14-11, closer than everyone expected. If Maryland comes off lazy against Cornell, we could be looking at another major upset. I don’t think Maryland will come out that flat again. It will be a great game but Maryland should bounce back against a very good Cornell team. Maryland 13-10

If Jeff Teat isn’t contained, the Terps will have a tough matchup ahead.

#5 Johns Hopkins vs #4 Duke

Duke controlled the game against Villanova the entire way, going up 11-4 at half and ultimately winning the contest 17-11.

Hopkins is coming off a tight comeback win against Georgetown in OT. JHU underestimated the firepower that G-town has.

Down 8-3, Johns Hopkins found the will to win to tie it at 9-9, winning it in OT from Shack Stanwick.

Duke is looking real good. I don’t believe Hop has what it takes the beat the juggernaut that is Duke Lacrosse. It’ll be a battle of offenses, but Duke should win this one. I’ll go 14-10