We’ve just passed the halfway mark of the San Antonio Spurs’ season, making it the perfect time to reflect on Victor Wembanyama’s rookie season. The hype surrounding his debut was astronomical, with expectations skyrocketing. Many critics, including Charles Barkley, expressed doubts about the rookie’s potential.
Charles took a bold stance, asserting that Wembanyama would struggle to adjust to the NBA, to the extent that he might never fulfill his potential. Now, it’s evident that Charles was wrong, and Wembanyama has proven to be a dominant player already. His season can be dissected into two halves: his first 19 games versus the rest of his games. Check out this video from Nerd Sesh for an in-depth analysis.
In his initial 19 games, Wembanyama played as a power forward without a true point guard and with teammates who were still learning to adapt to his unique playing style. Standing at an impressive 7’4” with guard-like skills, he required some adjustment from his teammates. Moreover, the coaching staff allowed him the freedom to play his game without excessive coaching, which contributed to early struggles such as poor shooting and turnovers.
However, things have taken a turn in his last 16 games. The Spurs have strategically positioned Victor closer to the rim, enabling him to utilize his incredible eight-foot wingspan. It turns out the rookie is also an exceptional fastbreak player, leading among centers in fastbreak points.
Overall, the rookie has adapted to the NBA game swiftly, showcasing remarkable growth in recent games. While he may not clinch the Rookie of the Year award, that’s perfectly fine. One thing is certain – Victor is every bit as good as advertised.
Victor’s shot-blocking prowess has been consistently impressive, and Saturday night’s rejection might just top them all. How did he even manage to deny this clear layup in such spectacular fashion? Check out the highlight here:
Wemby blocked this shot.. incredible pic.twitter.com/RoRhXKeKRS— matt (@mattbigguts) January 21, 2024
Wemby’s rookie campaign has been nothing short of extraordinary, leading the way among rookies in numerous categories!
Among rookies, Wembanyama is:— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) January 21, 2024
1st in PPG
1st in RPG
5th in APG
1st in SPG
1st in BPG
5th in 3P/G
1st in FT/G
He’s on pace to become the first player in NBA history to average a double-double with 3+ blocks and 1+ three
24-9-3-4 w/ 64% TS in < 25 MPG over his last 10#PorVida pic.twitter.com/vqcb2DNPbQ
Saturday was a particularly special night, as the Spurs faced off against the Wizards, with brothers and close childhood friends competing against each other.
Wembanyama continues to walk in the footsteps of two of the greatest Spurs of all time, Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Encouraging signs abound for Spurs fans.
Only three Spurs rookies reached 100+ BLK and 100+ AST:— Spurs_Muse (@spurs_muse) January 21, 2024
The prophecy has been foretold. pic.twitter.com/2XyF5UWrKt
The rookie delivered another poster-worthy dunk on Saturday night, serving as a stark reminder of his towering presence. Believe it or not, this dunk was over a 6’10” player!