Following the New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, Pelicans forward Zion Williamson walked back out onto the floor at the Smoothie King Center and took extra shots, spending 40 minutes working on his technique before speaking to the media.
“Y’all saw the game, man,” Williamson said, according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. Williamson had 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists with a season-high 16 free throw attempts, only making 8 of them.
“I really felt like I let my team down, man,” Williamson said. “It’s like I tell y’all, I never want to let them down. All those free throws, it can’t go down like that. I gotta be better in those situations. If I want to be one of those great players, I gotta take a lot of responsibility and be ready for those moments. Right after the game, I just felt like I had to go back on the court and find my flow.”
“I do feel like I was overthinking it,” Williamson said. “I feel like when I missed the first two, I started to think maybe I’m doing a lot of things wrong. I probably talk to Fred [Vinson], and Fred would probably say, ‘Oh, you didn’t load correctly,’ or, ‘You didn’t follow through properly.’ That’s Fred. I think I did overthink it when it was probably just one small thing and it probably would’ve went in.”
“For us right now, our offense is fine,” Williamson said. “But we just, we gotta play great defense for four quarters. We have our moments where we play great for 3½ some games or we’ll play great for four, but tonight we started off the game slow.
“That was really the tone-setter. I know we hear it a lot with our defense, but we gotta do it. I still do feel like we’re close to it. It’s the NBA. Winning’s not easy. But I trust my teammates and my coaches, and we’re going to find it and we’ll figure it out.”