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Zion Williamson is playing like an MVP candidate

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on November 25, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

New Orleans Pelicans youngster Zion Williamson hasn’t been brought up in the MVP conversation as often as other superstars this season, but it might be time for that to change.

The 22-year-old is playing at an extremely high level and, for the first time in his NBA career, he is doing so for a team that looks truly dangerous.

At 18-8, the Pelicans have the best record in the Western Conference, and Williamson is a big reason why.

Plus, New Orleans is on a seven-game winning streak, and during that span, the former No. 1 overall pick has been virtually unstoppable.

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Before the season began, there were questions about how Williamson would perform after missing the entire 2021-22 campaign.

Those questions have been answered in important ways.

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Smooth sailing in New Orleans

The Pelicans have been one of the best stories in the league so far this season.

Williamson, who is averaging 24.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on 60.5 percent shooting, has been simply outstanding.

It’s also worth noting that his usage rate this season is the lowest of his career, which is important to keep in mind when comparing his per-game averages to his other NBA seasons.

(The fact that his usage rate is down says less about him and more about the progress the Pelicans have made in building a well-balanced roster.)

New Orleans is about to begin a three-game road trip in which the trip will face the Utah Jazz twice and the Phoenix Suns once.

If the Pelicans keep winning, Williamson’s MVP case may continue to grow.

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