Duke basketball alum Zion Williamson is showcasing a remarkable surge in defensive performance, bolstering the New Orleans Pelicans' late-season success.

By the Numbers
  • Williamson averaged 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game during his time at Duke.
  • As a pro, his averages dipped to 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks for his career.
  • Williamson's recent performance includes 26 points, three rebounds, three assists, one block, and a career-high six steals in a crucial victory over the Warriors.
  • The Pelicans have won four straight games, positioning themselves one win away from securing a playoff spot without going through the Play-In Tournament.
  • Over the last five games, Williamson has averaged 2.6 steals and 1.8 blocks, reminiscent of his defensive prowess at Duke.
Yes, But

Williamson's defensive efforts as a pro have been inconsistent, with lower averages than his college career.

State of Play
  • The Pelicans have climbed to the 6th seed in the Western Conference standings.
  • They are facing the Los Angeles Lakers in their final regular-season game, aiming to secure a playoff berth.
What's Next

The Pelicans' upcoming game against the Lakers will determine their playoff fate, with the potential return of Brandon Ingram adding to the team's strength.

Bottom Line

Zion Williamson's improved defensive performance is showcasing his potential impact on the Pelicans' success, providing a significant boost towards securing a playoff spot in the upcoming crucial game against the Lakers.