3 Ways the Dallas Mavericks can slow down Pelicans' Zion Williamson

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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1. Swarm Zion Williamson on drives

The last slide was all about Grant Williams defending one-on-one, this slide is all about help defense. Sending multiple defenders as soon as Williamson catches the ball works, but it allows for too many open shots for other players.

Doubling Williamson in the post is another strategy Dallas could use. However, the stats tell a different story when depicting Williamson's successes down low.

Williamson is 14th in the league in post-ups per game. Yet among the top 20 players in post-ups per game, Williamson's field goal percentage ranks dead last. However, his pass percentage ranks first. The Pelicans have used Williamson as a facilitator from the post, rather than a scorer.

Therefore, doubling Williamson whenever he catches in the post doesn't make much sense. If the Pelicans forward is already looking to pass, the Dallas defenders are better suited remaining near their respective matchups.

However, Williamson's drives have been much more effective this season. Williamson ranks sixth in the league in drives per game. Of the top 20 players in drives per game, Williamson ranks second-to-last in pass percentage.

It's apparent, whenever Williamson drives, he's looking to score. He's third in the NBA in field goal attempts per drive. Anytime Williamson puts the ball on the deck, looking to drive, Dallas must help Williams.

Whether it be whoever defends Dyson Daniels, or another non-shooter, it's imperative the Mavs prioritize smothering Williamson on his drives to the hoop.

For all the latest on the Dallas Mavericks and their upcoming matchups against Zion Williamson, stay tuned.