Zion is scoring inside more than anyone since Shaq; All-Star credits Pelicans 'for allowing me to be me'

Zion Williamson inspires sheer terror around the rim in a way few NBA players ever have.

The first half of the Pelicans' regular season ended with an uncontested dunk and a head coach whose palms were pointed toward the ceiling.

Williamson, who on Sunday will play in the first All-Star Game of his career, is averaging 19.3 points in the paint.

The Pelicans’ season took a positive turn when coach Stan Van Gundy began allowing Williamson to initiate the team’s offense in early February.

On New Orleans’ first possession of the game Feb. 5 in Indiana, Williamson brought the ball up the floor, drove past Domantas Sabonis and converted an easy two.

There is nothing hyperbolic about that description: Williamson, whose rookie season was derailed by a knee injury, has proved this year that he's worth every bit of hype.

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