The San Antonio Spurs did their best to come away with a win in a slug fest against the Cavaliers, and despite the loss the young Spurs provided several notable plays worth re-examining.
Victor Wembanyama has exceeded most fans’ already lofty expectations, but nights like Saturday underscore the variety of ways he can help the team while also highlighting many ways that he will develop as he gets used to the NBA.
Against the Cavaliers’ vaunted front court, the rookie notched a double-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists while swatting 2 and thieving another 2 on defense.
The rodeo is coming to town, but Devin Vassell was in more of a circus mood, including this shot that would have made the bearded lady herself blush. Vassell led the team in scoring with 22 alongside 6 rebounds.
Garbage pickup doesn’t operate on the weekends, but that didn’t stop Keldon Johnson from cleaning up the glass on the play.
This spin move from Wembanyama looked as effortless as he made it out to be. He kept it simple with no wasted motion, never brought the ball down, and used his wingspan advantage to drop that baby through the hoop without a care in the world.
Johnson, on this play, showed off some tricky footwork to get a bucket in the paint. The hitch hesi got him open and way from the defender’s outstretched arms. As per usual, Johnson brought his hustle and scoring off the bench to boost the Spurs whenever they needed him most.
Wembanyama was putting down what Vassell was putting up. This bee-yew-tee-fool lob got the home crowd rocking.
The Spurs’ harshest critics have been clamoring for better and more lob looks for the team’s prized rookie, and I would argue for the latter, but I do imagine it’s difficult to get the ball with pinpoint accuracy to Wembanyama. That being said, his elite catch radius would make the job that much easier.
Either way, I could watch Vassell’s touch pass lob to Wemby all day.
If you missed the game because you were too busy being shocked at The Rock’s surprise return (again) to the WWE, here are the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs head over to Miami to take on the Heat on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.