Tag: Zion Williamson

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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Dennis Smith Jr. May Be A Diamond In The Rough For The Knicks

In Friday night’s loss vs the Pistons, Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. scored a career-high 31 points and dished out 8 assists to his new teammates.

Dennis isn’t missing a beat after being traded from the Mavericks during the trade deadline. Coach David Fizdale has placed his trust in the young guard and it is showing in his recent play as a Knick.

“I’m enjoying playing basketball not enjoying losing, but I’m having fun going out there and competing,” Dennis said after Pistons game.

In Dennis’ first 3 games as a Knick, he is averaging 21.3 points and 6.7 assists on 46% from the field. Dennis has shown that he is already the best player on this team and is connecting with his team.

On the other hand, Dennis still struggles with shooting the basketball as he misses free throws and is shooting below 30% from 3 so far with the Knicks.

If Dennis finds a consistent shooting stroke, the Knicks may not need Kyrie Irving in the summer. Shooting is the key factor that will elevate Dennis’ game.

The Knicks let go of some big pieces during the trade deadline, Kristaps Porzingis being the biggest loss, but Dennis is already showing the potential that he can grow into a star and be the best player on a team.

The Knicks are looking forward to the summer as the draft and free agency takes place. They must look at the possibilities if Zion Williamson, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving don’t land there. Do the Knicks believe that Dennis can be a big-time player for them?

The Endgame For The Knicks/Mavericks Rebuild

With the recent blockbuster trade that was announced earlier today between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, the two teams took franchise-altering deals that can either boom in their favor or blow up right in their faces.

The two franchises are in the midst of rebuilding and trying to contend in the near future. The 2019 NBA free agency will dictate the future of each franchise.

The question arises of how does this deal benefit each team in the long run?

Just a recap for the trade here are the full details:

Dallas Mavericks Receive

Kristaps Porzingis
Courtney Lee
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Trey Bure

New York Knicks Receive

Dennis Smith Jr.
Wesley Matthews
DeAndre Jordan
Two future First Round Picks (one unprotected, one protected)

Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and the Dallas Mavericks are known to be major risk takers and this trade is a prime example of the Mavericks being a risk-taking franchise. The Mavericks will pair Kristaps Porzingis with Luka Doncic and they will be the core star players going into the future.

The Mavericks have had eyes on Porzingis for years and with the connections of Dirk Nowitzki and Luka to him, Porzingis to Dallas seemed very likely in the future. Porzingis looked up to Dirk growing up and also spent time working out over the summer in 2017. Also, Porzingis and Luka are close friends, both playing against each other while they were overseas.

Luka is now going to be the point guard for this team with Dennis Smith Jr. gone and now the Mavericks have some serious pieces around them to contend in the future.

The Mavericks will now look to free agency to chase Demarcus Cousins or Klay Thompson and that will be the end of the rebuild for the Mavericks.

Some sleepers the Mavericks may also have eyes on are that of Willie Cauley-Stein and Goran Dragic.

On the other side of this trade, The Knicks were able to secure a young developing guard in Dennis Smith Jr. along with two future picks and reliving cap space. This will put the Knicks in play to sign 2 max free agents and also draft a player such as Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

The Knicks are confident they can land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant along with a top 3 Pick in the draft. If they succeed in this, their rebuild will be complete and now you have a scary core of Dennis Smith Jr., Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kevin Knox and either Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

If the Knicks do not succeed in this trade then another year of mediocrity and losing will be in play next season. The Knicks are banking heavily that a top free agent will come, but the possibility of them landing no one is an unfortunate possible outcome.

This trade took a lot of guts for each side to pull off and it was impressive on how they got it done in a short amount of time. For a Mavericks fan, you are happy with the Luka/Porzingis duo. For a Knicks fan, you are hopeful all the cards fall into your favor in free agency.

New York Knicks and Anthony Davis Should Stay Far Away From Each Other

With recent news of Anthony Davis wanting out of New Orleans, many fans and analysts have put out trade destinations such as Davis going to the Lakers, Raptors, Celtics and even the forever struggling New York Knicks.

The Knicks should not look to entertain a trade for Anthony Davis as this would mean sacrificing talents such as Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Kristaps Porzingis and even potentially the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft which can turn into Zion Williamson or even R.J. Barrett. Two players who can elevate your franchise.

A core of Zion/Barrett, Porzingis and Knox would be a great core to build off of for the Knicks. It’s a core that could potentially be a big-time threat in a couple of years.

If you are the Knicks you have to ask yourself is Anthony Davis really worth giving up your future for?

The Knicks necessarily hasn’t been a winning situation for anyone and this should raise concerns on Anthony Davis’ end. What is the difference between the situation in New Orleans and the Knicks?

Trading for Davis would be a risk for the Knicks end as you would have to give up a lot of young assets for him. Davis would be paired up with no one once he gets there. The Knicks would have to pray to the basketball gods that a top free agent will come there in the summer.

The Knicks haven’t been serious contenders for a long time and is looked to be one of the laughing stock franchises in the NBA.

If a trade does go down and the Knicks land Davis, you are going to have to be 100% certain Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard will come to the Big Apple. If there are any uncertainties that with these players not coming, you are setting Anthony Davis up to fail.

Ultimately, the Knicks shouldn’t throw away the years they are rebuilding for Davis. From the history books, winning championships come from building through the draft and the Knicks have plenty of young players with upside. Don’t throw those years away.

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.