CJ McCollum on Pelicans' Plan: Get the Ball to Zion 'and Get the F--k Out of the Way'

Erin WalshDecember 30, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 4: CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans high-fives teammate Zion Williamson #1 during the game against the Denver Nuggets on December 4, 2022 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans currently occupy the top seed in the Western Conference with a 22-12 record, and a lot of that has to do with the return of 2019 first overall pick Zion Williamson.

The Duke product, who missed the entire 2021-22 season because of a nagging foot injury, has returned to being mostly healthy this season, picking up right where he left off when he last took the court.

The 22-year-old is averaging 25.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 26 games while shooting 60.7 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from deep.

According to CJ McCollum, the team's game plan this year is to run the ball through the 6'6" forward.

"Get the ball to Z and get the f--k out of the way," McCollum said when asked to describe the team's strategy late in the game, per The Athletic's William Guillory.

If Williamson can stay healthy, the Pelicans will be a real threat to capture the Western Conference crown for the first time in franchise history. Additionally, the team is hoping to make a run to the NBA Finals for the first time ever.