Zion Williamson has already taken the NBA by storm.
The New Orleans Pelicans rookie lived up to the hype before the season was suspended due to COVID-19. But can the No. 1 overall pick make a behind-the-backboard shot?
The NBA has not stopped trying to find ways to showcase their players while providing entertainment since the season was suspended back on March 11th.
After debuting their NBA 2K20 Tournament with 16 professional players, including Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell, there are now reports of the NBA and ESPN working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition.
We remember the playground game of our childhoods, the game where we eventually ran out of ideas for shot selection and just take a 20-foot jumper as our attempt.
But these will be NBA players so it will be slightly better than me and my little brother missing five straight no-look, back-to-the-basket shot attempts.
The competition leads to a number of ideas.
Now, the players will compete in their at-home gyms so this online presentation can include fan involvement. If the players run out of shot ideas then the NBA could open the competition up to fan ideas from social media.
They could also include street basketball players to compete alongside the NBA players.
We are still unsure on which NBA players will play in the televised H-O-R-S-E competition, but I couldn’t help but wonder which New Orleans Pelicans player would have the best chance to win it all.
Right away we can eliminate certain Pelicans players.
I apologize to Jahlil Okafor, Kenrich Williams, Derrick Favors, Frank Jackson, Nicolo Melli, Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jrue Holiday.
I am keeping Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, E’Twaun Moore, J.J. Redick and Jaxson Hayes.
Let’s start with Hayes.
The Pelicans rookie has shown flashes of unreal athleticism before the season was postponed. Before his minutes started to decline, Hayes had the best missed dunks.
Check out this video from New Orleans Pelicans beat writer Will Guillory.
That can give you a good picture of what Hayes could do that others might not be able to. Note: These are in-game dunks but if Hayes can use props then he could be a contender.
Redick and Moore are pretty simple. Redick could out-shoot the other competitors once the H-O-R-S-E game comes to the inevitable game of “Who can make perimeter shots?”
And I wanted to include Moore in here because he has the best floater in the NBA. Sometimes the short-range shots prove to be the most troublesome and an E’Twaun Moore floater is hard to match.
The case for Ball is his passing ability. He makes the creative pass and sees the game one play ahead.
Here is a 10-minute example of Lonzo’s passing ability.
That shows his creativity but Ball was also an improved 3-point shooter this season so he could still compete when the H-O-R-S-E game gets to that point.
Ingram was an All-Star this season and I almost left him out until I reminded myself of his mid-range game. A majority of NBA players refuse to operate in the mid-range like Ingram does so his play style could frustrate other players into possibly giving up altogether.
And now for Zion. This would be my choice. Zion went 4-of-4 from the 3-point line in his debut and 1-of-1 in his final game before the season was postponed. I’m not saying Zion is a good perimeter shooter but, once in rhythm, he could stay alive if the game gets there.
Zion can pull out dunks like other players could possibly never attempt. Here’s my one idea for Zion: Make them attempt to shatter the backboard with a dunk. That’s an easy letter for you.
It would be great to see any Pelicans players included in the proposed H-O-R-S-E competition, but it is just nice to see the NBA still trying to find entertaining alternatives for the games we have missed out on.