Sunday morning was the beginning of the playoffs for the French Basketball League, and Victor Wembanyama led his Met 92 squad to a Game 1 victory over Cholet. The first round matchups are best of 3, and despite an unusual substitution pattern, Wembanyama was clearly the best player on a floor that included former NCAA stars and other future NBA prospects. Rumored to be in attendance was one Gregg Popovich, who booked a flight to France after learning his team had won the Lottery. (Remember the other San Antonio Spurs draft pick Pop flew to visit after the lottery?)
With 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in just 30 minutes, Wemby flashed some of the skills that make him so tantalizing as a prospect, and had at least one offensive possession where he did something never seen before on a basketball court. Despite the impressive performance, there were moments to remind viewers Wemby is just 19 years old. Spinning blindly into double teams, attempting to dribble through gaps between defenders after the gap has already closed, and even making some unwise passes when the double came and he didn’t spin into or dribble through it are just a few examples of how far this young man has to go before he reaches his potential.
In the latest episode of the Four Down podcast, Jacob Douglas and I chat about Wemby’s playoff performance, how Spurs brass might be thinking about this Met 92 playoff run, and the implications it could have on the Silver and Black’s 23-24 season. Finally, we discuss what lessons San Antonio can take from the playoff run the Denver Nuggets are making around a generational big man — i.e. putting LeBron James in his first (Non-NBA Finals) 0-3 playoff deficit.