Initially, Kevin Love spent his Wednesday evening watching "Doctor Sleep."
But after the 2019 film, based on a Stephen King novel, came to an end, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward checked in on the nationally televised matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs.
And like many around the league, Love was impressed by what he saw in Zion Williamson's NBA debut.
"I turned on the third [quarter]. I saw that it was his first game, up and down, he wasn't in there too much," Love told reporters at Cavs shootaround on Thursday. "And then in the fourth quarter, he exploded in like three minutes. I was watching all of that. It's incredible."
As Love noted, the Pelicans rookie forward's first NBA game got off to a slow start. Playing in just 12 minutes of action, Williamson totaled 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 turnovers against a Spurs defense that was routinely throwing double teams his way.
But in the fourth quarter, the reigning No. 1 overall pick showed why his NBA debut was so highly anticipated. Sinking all four of his 3-point attempts, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson scored 17 straight points, helping bring New Orleans within one point of what had been a 12-point San Antonio lead to start the fourth quarter.
"Obviously he got hot and was feeling it quite a bit," Love said of the performance. "But if he's going to be able to step out there and shoot that, be healthy and just play the way he typically plays, he's going to be special in this league."
Despite his hot streak, Williamson was pulled from the contest with 5:23 remaining and the Pelicans trailing by just three. As Williamson makes his return from the knee surgery that cost him the first three months of the season, New Orleans plans on taking a cautious approach with the Duke product, who ultimately tallied 22 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes.
"I'd imagine that's tough," Love said of the Pelicans' conundrum. "But in that instance, they've gotta think future, right? And [New Orleans president of basketball operations David Griffin] is smart and he's one of the most respected guys at that capacity in the entire NBA.
"It's like a really good vacation, right? Like you come back and it's just at the right amount of days. You leave wanting more. He's going to give the crowd and New Orleans fans and people that are fans of him a lot to look forward to."
If his debut was any indication, it won't just be Pelicans fans anticipating Williamson's every move. And as far as Cleveland is concerned, Love won't have to wait long for his first matchup with Williamson, with the Pelicans scheduled to face the Cavs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Jan. 28.