Victor Wembanyama, the highly anticipated No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, showcased significant improvement in his second NBA Summer League game for the San Antonio Spurs. Despite the team’s 85-80 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Wembanyama’s outstanding performance of 27 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks demonstrated his immense potential.
The 19-year-old Frenchman acknowledged the pressure and attention surrounding him but embraced the opportunity to exhibit his talent and resilience on the court. Spurs summer coach Matt Nielsen praised Wembanyama for his ability to step up and address the areas they had discussed.
In his previous summer league debut, Wembanyama struggled to find his rhythm, shooting just 2-of-13 from the field. However, in his second game, he appeared more comfortable and fluid, having adjusted to the new environment and shaking off the rust from his European pro season. His agility and touch near the basket improved, resulting in drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line. Wembanyama’s defensive presence as a shot-blocking deterrent remained a highlight, showcasing his ability to protect the rim.
While Wembanyama demonstrated flashes of his offensive potential, including a floating jump shot and thunderous dunks that ignited the crowd’s excitement, he also displayed areas for improvement. He struggled with ball security when facing stronger opponents and remained susceptible to being moved at the point of contact. These are aspects that can be expected to improve as he continues to develop physically and refine his skills.
The matchup between Wembanyama and fellow rookie Scoot Henderson of the Trail Blazers was highly anticipated, but unfortunately, Henderson was unable to play due to a shoulder injury suffered in his debut.
Looking ahead, Wembanyama’s summer league experience will be cut short before the schedule concludes. The Spurs’ next game against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday will likely be his final appearance. Wembanyama expressed his willingness to follow the guidance of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and make any necessary sacrifices for the team.
Despite the desire for more wins, Wembanyama remains focused on continuous improvement. He understands the importance of getting better with each game and acknowledges that his basketball journey has just begun. After an intensive month filled with various commitments, Wembanyama is eager to dedicate the next few months solely to basketball, knowing that it will be a life-changing period for him.
As Wembanyama’s summer season comes to a close, he will reflect on the progress made and prepare for the upcoming training camp. The NBA world eagerly awaits the arrival of this promising young talent and the impact he will have in the league.