Victor Wembanyama produced plenty of highlight-worthy plays in his NBA preseason debut for the San Antonio Spurs, but perhaps the one that caught the eyes of viewers the most was an insane drive and spin into an off-hand layup that started from outside the three-point line. He took two dribbles, spun, and completed the up-and-under around Chet Holmgren.
In his postgame interview, when asked about where that type of play comes from (beginning at the 3:45 mark), here is what he had to say:
“Um, I don’t know I’m just free-styling. It’s just reading, decision making. I know that every time I penetrate, it’s going to be a double team, so I just spun away from it. And a lot of times, with so much space on the court, I can find my teammates a lot, and — a lot of times I just do one step towards the basket, and I see two or three pairs of eyes looking straight at me and not at the defenders. They forget their guy, and I can find easy looks sometimes like this. So this is why I was saying I feel really good in this setting, I can really share the ball with my teammates.”
We already knew Wemby’s basketball IQ is through the roof, but this kind of decision making and awareness for a 19-year-old is such a rare commodity. As we saw in last night’s game, his teammates are still learning on where to put the ball for him and vice versa (we saw a time or two where Wemby’s own passes sailed over the heads of his teammates), but when they put it all together, exciting times like las night’s first half will become a norm.