Victor Wembanyama concluded his second week in the NBA with an impressive display on Sunday, showcasing his defensive dominance with a career-high five blocks. His impact on the defensive end was obvious, marked by significant blocks and game-altering plays. The Toronto Raptors’ wing, OG Anunoby, found himself challenged by Wembanyama, learning firsthand the difficulty of shooting over the towering rookie.
The distinct nature of these blocks emphasizes Wembanyama’s incredible length, a quality that only he possesses. Fortunately, OG Anunoby can now laugh about it.
Beyond the stat sheet, there were other crucial defensive plays where the rookie influenced the game. For instance, during a drive-by Raptors guard Malachi Flynn, despite initially getting past Wembanyama, the French rookie swiftly recovered, discouraging Flynn from attempting a layup and forcing a pass out to Anunoby.
He didn't even try the layup because he knew Wemby was behind him pic.twitter.com/BbYfyJ8dV5— Wemby Muse (@Wemby_Muse) November 5, 2023
In overtime, Wembanyama’s closeouts caused two air balls in the same possession, resulting in a Raptors turnover. Even though they didn’t count as blocks, these defensive contests were equally impactful.
His influence on the defensive end continues to expand, compelling teams into unfavorable decisions and on track to position himself as a candidate for the All-Defensive Teams.
During the French post-game press conference, Victor shared insights into his defensive strategies. He emphasized his preparation, which involved meticulous study of tape and scouting reports to understand his opponents better. He highlighted the importance of making informed defensive decisions based on gathered information.
Additionally, Victor discussed a critical inbound play during overtime, where he was tasked by Coach Popovic to apply pressure on the player receiving the ball. It ended up with the rookie chasing Raptor’s guard, Dennis Schroder down the court. For his size, Victor did a good job moving his feet and keeping up with the guard, which led to a shot clock violation for Toronto.
The game on Sunday drew attention worldwide, attracting viewers from over 132 countries!
Raptors vs. Spurs (3:30 ET) will air in prime time across Europe, the Middle East and Africa - 132 countries in all - today, featuring France’s Victor Wembanyama and Germany’s World Cup hero Dennis Schroder. NBA League Pass viewership is up 200% in France this year.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 5, 2023
Notably, some broadcasts might refer to the French rookie as “Wemby” rather than using his full name.
Alvin William’s pronunciation of “Wembanyama” pic.twitter.com/i1pnvWLttZ— MVP43 (@StepBackPascal) November 5, 2023
Also, this fan understood the assignment post-halloween. Are City Edition jerseys of the Slenderman available yet?
lolll slenderman Wemby jersey appearance pic.twitter.com/KowlIdnswj— dylan (@dylangonzalez21) November 5, 2023
Finally, a preview of the latest defensive strategy ahead of Monday night’s clash in Indiana suggests Victor will be focusing on practicing corner threes during his pre-match routine.