That may seem obvious, but if you didn’t see his games at Duke, you might have just seen his rim-scorching slams in highlight reels. And Williams said, per ESPN in 2019, he “kind of hate(s) being classified as a dunker,” so this is perfect.
That said, as you might have seen from his shot chart, Williamson does a ton of his work inside. It’s just that how he does it is jaw-dropping … but he’s not just a player in the paint. Let’s dive in:
1. In the post
This, to me, is his default position. When he gets fed down low, he can either break defenders down with his face to the opposition thanks to a myriad of moves or just use his massive frame to back them down. There’s also a terrific way he’s using post-ups in transition, something The Ringer broke down really well recently.
2. In transition
Get out of his way when he’s flying in.
3. Grabbing the ball away from rebounders
This is my new favorite. What other player can literally just take the ball away with muscle and score or draw a foul?
When — not if — he gets even better at this, it’s going to be scary.
5. Pick and roll
Around the 35-second mark, you’ll see how he works with Brandon Ingram. How do you stop that!? Either you double Williamson and leave Ingram open for a look or you have to give Zion some space and he’ll do what he did there.
6. Off rebounds
He averages 3.5 offensive rebounds per contest.
7. Off his own rebound
8. Driving to the hoop
Give him the ball at the top of the three-point line, step back and let him use his underrated dribble and let him work. There’s a good example around 2:30 of the video above.
9. Off the lob
So. Many. Alley. Oops.