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Zion Williamson NBA debut recap: Rookie catches fire in fourth quarter, puts on show

The Pelicans rookie phenom was quiet through the first three frames, but came on strong late. We recap his fantasy basketball stats and performance.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson gestures after making a basket in the second half against the Utah Jazz at the Smoothie King Center. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans rookie PF Zion Williamson is making his highly-anticipated NBA debut on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. Williamson underwent knee surgery in October and has taken a while to get into game action. While he’s only expected to play around 15-20 minutes tonight, we’ll be keep track of his fantasy basketball and DFS stats in this game. He’s priced at $5,000 on DraftKings.

Fantasy basketball stats recap for Zion Williamson in NBA debut

Update: Jan. 23, 10:49 a.m. — If you were wondering if any sort of history was made last night by Zion Williamson in that incredible stretch in the fourth quarter, well, here’s a nugget from CBS Sports HQ:

Update, 11:53 p.m. — So Williamson is done for the night after 18 minutes and one CRAZY stretch of basketball. Zion scored 17 straight points in the fourth quarter in a matter of minutes to finish with a very nice stat line:

22 points (8-11)
4 three-pointers
7 rebounds
3 assists
5 turnovers

Williamson was $5,000 on DraftKings and his finish paid off huge for anyone who banked on his talent. He finished with 34.75 fantasy points! If you scroll down you’ll see him sitting at 12.75 after the third quarter, which is nuts.

It seemed after he smelt blood in the water, he just went into a frenzy. It started with that first 3-pointer and he just built confidence from there on out. It was truly amazing to watch, here’s a recap from the Pelicans:

The Pelicans would go on to lose the game 121-117, which begs the question: Would the Pels have won if they left Zion in? I mean, did Grizzly Adams have a beard?

Update, 11:43 p.m. — Williamson is putting on a show in the fourth quarter. He just scored 13 points in a little over a minute. THIS IS INSANITY. I can’t even describe it. It’s a totally different player from before. His line is 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes. He’s 4-for-4 from long range in the quarter.

Update, 11:41 p.m. — ZION FOR THREEEEEEEE. Williamson just drained a long three-pointer off a pass from Lonzo Ball. He then followed that up with another bucket. It seems we may get more Williamson in the fourth quarter. Buckle up! Zion then drained another 3-pointer

Update, 11:36 p.m. — Williamson made a nice rebound and pushed the ball up the court, getting it to E’Twaun Moore for an easy transition bucket. The Pelicans are down 97-91 and Zion is up to five points, five rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 14 minutes. That’s good for 12.75 fantasy points, which still isn’t cutting it.

Update, 11:32 p.m. — Coach Alvin Gentry just commented saying that Zion is playing conservative in his NBA debut. You can tell that Zion is still adjusting to the speed of the game. His teammates seem to be on another pace than him and his positioning has been a bit off all night.

Update, 11:29 p.m. — We’re at the end of the third quarter and the Pelicans trail the Spurs 94-82. Williamson should start the fourth quarter and if his debut so far is any indication, he’ll play four minutes and that’ll be it. It’s been a pretty pedestrian debut through three, but it’s clear New Orleans wants Zion to ease himself back into action.

Update, 11:07 p.m. — Williamson is out of the game after four minutes in the third quarter, as expected. He’s up five points, four rebounds, one assist and four turnovers in 12 minutes of action. Zion is up to 9.5 fantasy points on DraftKings.

Update, 11:02 p.m. — Early in the third and Zion had his first real looking play of the game. Williamson drove baseline and powered his way to the basket, going to the line after failing to convert. He hit 1-2 free throws and now has three points in the game.

Update, 11:00 p.m. — The second half is about to start and Zion is at 8 minutes played. We should expect him to see 4-5 minutes in each of the next two quarters the rest of the game.

Update, 10:43 p.m. — It’s halftime in Zion Williamson’s NBA debut and his stat line hasn’t changed since he checked out earlier in the second quarter. Here’s the line as it stands:

2 points (1-2)
3 rebounds
1 assist
2 turnovers
1 foul

On DraftKings, Zion is only up to 6.25 fantasy points, so at $5,000, he’s got a lot of work to do to return value. Williamson’s ownership is really low — he’s only 11% owned in the Four Point Play GPP on DraftKings, the $4 20-max tournament.

Update, 10:25 p.m. — At 7:40 left in the second, Williamson is out of the game again. He’s up to eight minutes in his NBA debut with two points, one assist, three rebounds and two turnovers so far. Zion was more active in the second burst of minutes he received, but we’re still waiting for one of those insane, powerful dunks. There’s still a whole half of basketball left so stick here for more updates and highlights for Zion.

Update, 10:18 p.m. — Zion is on the board! Williamson grabbed a board and then hit his first NBA basket at 10:34 of the second quarter. Zion also picked up his first foul. He’s much more active in the second quarter than he was in the first. We’ll see if we get a highlight soon. Williamson’s line is now 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover and 1-2 from the field.

Update, 10:12 p.m. — So the first quarter comes to a close and Zion Williamson will officially finish the first frame of his career 0-1 from the field with one turnover and one assist in 3:51 minutes. Pretty lackluster start to his career, but we didn’t expect Zion to play much tonight anyway. We’ll see what he does in the second quarter.

Update, 9:47 p.m. — Zion has yet to score any baskets, but just picked up his first NBA assist on a slash through the lane by Brandon Ingram. The Spurs called timeout with 8:57 left in the first quarter. Williamson is out after 3:51 in the first quarter. We’ll see if he checks back in before the second.

Update: Zion getting shots up during warmups prior to his NBA debut.

Update: Zion will start in his debut tonight.

Zion’s locker is all ready for his debut tonight. Are you ready?!?