VIDEO: Zion Williamson shows off his dunk contest chops in first game after All-Star break
New Orlean Pelicans big man Zion Williamson may not have been apart of the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest this past weekend, but that doesn’t mean the forward can’t throw it down with the best of them.
Playing in the team’s opening game of the second half of the season, Zion posterized Minnesota’s Jake Layman with a dunk that the Timberwolves defender is not likely to forget anytime soon.
Nothing says the NBA is back quite like watching Williamson get above the rim. Check it out for yourself below.
Zion Williamson HAMMER pic.twitter.com/7CJnzRmLkt
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With the Pelicans holding the ball with just over nine minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Brandon Ingram attempted to slither into the lane before Minnesota set a trap for him near the low block. Unable to get around the pair of defenders, Ingram tossed an emergency pass out to a waiting Zion in the corner, who had previously abandoned the dunker’s spot to allow his teammate a lane to get to the rim.
Catching the ball on a sprint toward the interior, Williamson not only leaped above the cylinder but outmuscled Layman with a forearm to the neck, tossing the defender aside and slamming the rock home.
Sorry T-Wolves fans, but it’s only a foul if they call it.
While Zion has provided a highlight reel full of feats this season, that has not prevented New Orleans from falling out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Entering the league’s second half, the Pelicans are a measly 15-21 on the year and sit four games back from the final spot in the NBA’s play-in tournament.
Unless New Orleans can start translating Zion’s dunks into victories, their forward’s highlight reel will be the only positive for the team this season.
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