NBA

Coach Willie Green claims Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are NBA’s ‘best freaking duo’

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Coach Willie Green has taken the Pelicans to a 2-1 mark during this first week of the season, having won their first two matches and then lost yesterday 102-130 against the Golden State Warriors. The New Orleans trainer credits his team for this strong start of the campaign, but mostly praised the chemistry between Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. 

The former Sixers player is convinced that his team’s stars are the best duo in the entire league and don’t get enough press. After the Pelicans conquered their first two contests of the year, he delivered a powerful message to his locker room.

“I am going to keep saying it: Best freaking duo in the NBA,” Green said in front of the entire squad. “They don’t talk about you enough. Best freaking duo in the NBA. You guys have to show up every night and be dominant.”

Every year, it has always been the same subject: keeping his roster healthy throughout the season. Ingram and Williamson might be a powerful duo, but in the past they’ve barely played together due to lingering injuries. When they’ve played together, New Orleans seem able to clinch a playoff spot.

While Williamson is putting up 22 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists after his first three matches since his injury back on January 1, Ingram is averaging 22.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest this 2023/24 campaign.

“It’s what I believe about those two guys,” Green said about the duo that are 48-47 when they are both in the lineup. “Who they are as people. Who they are as basketball players. But we still have a lot of work to do. We will continue putting it together.”

New Orleans first drafted Zion as the No.1 overall pick in the 2019 draft and then signed Brandon from the Los Angeles Lakers through the blockbuster deal that involved Anthony Davis the same year. Since then, they’ve made the postseason only once.

“His touch around the basket — I don’t know if anybody in the league can do what he can do at his size. It’s special to watch for sure,” the Pelicans coach said about Williamson’s touch.

On the other side of the court, he praised Herb Jones as a top defender. “He should be one of the top defensive players in the NBA. He’s shown it already night in and night out so he will continue to do that. That’s who he is,” Green shared.

Both Pelicans stars trust that their talents will help the team grow into a title-contending franchise

As both stars are coming off an injury-riddled campaign, they showed great dedication this summer to comeback to the NBA season stronger than ever. Now, they both feel healthy and ready to dominate any rival that’s placed in front of them.

“We know what we can do. We know what we can do against other players and we’re going to continue to show that every single night,” Brandon Ingram stated. “We have a lot of talent across the board. So, we have more guys on the floor that can push the pace. We’ve got some shooters on the wing.”

Williamson produced one of his strongest performances in a long time against the New York Knicks this past weekend with a 24-point display. He dropped 12-of-17 from the field and credited his team’s movement for his shot opportunities.

“My teammates had a lot of off-ball movement. That gave me a little bit more space and I made the most of it,” Zion said postgame this past Saturday.