As we venture into the second quarter of this NBA season, Victor Wembanyama is turning into a more refined version of himself as an NBA basketball player. We’ve officially stepped into the era where Wemby is starting at center, unveiling new facets of his defensive prowess. In his recent two games as the starting center, the rookie has astoundingly averaged 19.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.
It’s crucial to highlight the strides he’s made in boxing out opponents over the last month and a half. Initially, he seemed susceptible to being muscled out while competing for rebounding positions. Yet, in the recent games, it’s as if he’s hoovering up every missed shot from the opposition.
Following the recent positional change, Victor is dominating the defensive paint even more than before. In Monday night’s game, Alperen Sengun got a firsthand experience of Wemby’s defensive prowess. Sengun, who has been shining brightly this season, averaging 20.5 points and shooting 54% from the floor, encountered a tough night against the French rookie. The Houston Rockets center began the game shooting 1-5 front the field.
Subsequently, Sengun appeared visibly unsettled on the court, committing a season-high six turnovers. Victor’s defensive impact culminated in what could be considered his best posterizing dunk of the season, notably over Sengun.
Wemby’s defensive impact in the paint becomes evident when even the opposition celebrates scoring a layup on the rookie, as seen in Jabari Smith Jr.’s second-quarter layup.
However, Jabari’s celebration was short-lived, swiftly followed by Victor swatting away his very next shot as though playing volleyball.
Overall, this positional shift has been great for the rookie and the Spurs’ defense. While the lineup might undergo further changes, especially with San Antonio enduring their longest losing streak in franchise history, one constant should be Wemby starting at the five.
This no-look pass gives us a glimpse of Wemby’s passing abilities, as he displays big promise. This no-look pass gives us a
Can’t wait to see Wemby fully unlock this part of his game pic.twitter.com/d0KgvAeRM3— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) December 12, 2023
Well, as Spurs fans, we’ve unfortunately reached a milestone we never wanted: 17 straight losses. Issues in the third quarter significantly contribute to San Antonio’s current struggles.
Despite the setback, both the Spurs staff and Wemby remained calm. The rookie emphasized the team’s dedication to continuous improvement and learning daily. However, the lack of victories affects the rookie’s satisfaction with his inaugural NBA campaign.