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Zion Williamson Gives Honest Assessment Of Pelicans' Season

Zion Williamson being defended by Bam Adebayo.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 25: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans is defended by Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the third quarter at American Airlines Arena on December 25, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Despite the rapid ascension of Zion Williamson in year two, the New Orleans Pelicans labored during the 2020-21 NBA regular season. The group missed out on the playoffs in Stan Van Gundy's first year at the helm and looked far from the Western Conference competitor that many hoped they could be.

The Pelicans finished with a 31-41 record and 11th in the conference standings, just two games out of the play-in tournament. But the lackluster finish was by no means that fault of the 20-year-old Williamson.

The former Duke Blue Devil showed an uncanny ability to attack the rim in just his second year in the league on the way to making his first All Star team. He shot a highly efficient 61.1 percent from the field, while averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Nevertheless, Williamson still felt like the Pelicans came short of their goal of making the playoffs. He called the performance "disappointing" and emphasized the the upcoming offseason as an important time to grow together as a team.

"I’m not going to sit here and say we’re close," Williamson said, via Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "The reality of it is it was very disappointing not to be a part of the play-in tournament and stuff. But we just have to come in and be better. That’s just me being real."

"It’s disappointing,” the Pelicans All Star continued. “I’d be lying to you if I said anything else. It’s very disappointing. But the best thing we can do is regroup, come together as a team, come together as coaches this offseason. Just talk and do what we need to do to be better next year. There’s not much to it. We just have to be better.”

Williamson already revealed that he plans to spend the offseason with co-star and fellow former Duke player Brandon Ingram. Both players seem to recognize that learning together and working out together will benefit the Pelicans moving forward.

“At the end of the day, me and Brandon both share the same goals – winning,” Williamson said, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. “Me and Brandon are going to get together a lot this offseason and talk about what we need to do and work out together. Like I said, the reality is we want to win. We have to put in the work.”