The San Antonio Spurs are coming off their best win since their rookie season, but what has “monster rookie” Victor Wembaanyama, 19, learned so far in the NBA?
Wembanyama was interviewed after the Spurs’ 132-121 road win over the Phoenix Suns at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, on Wednesday (March 3).
His performance on the night was dazzling. He played 34 minutes and 21 seconds, scoring 38 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. At the same time, he made all four of his free throws in the final 4:15 of the game and then hit three of four free throws to score 10 points as Phoenix pulled away.
“My biggest concern was stopping those two guys, Durant and Booker, especially in the fourth quarter. We tried to bring back the energy we showed in the first quarter and understand our rotations and offense correctly. We used all of our timeouts at the end, so we tried to do exactly what coach wanted us to do,” he said of the game.
“Somebody has to do it,” he said of being responsible for 10 of the team’s 12 points in the fourth quarter. “Last game it was Keldon Johnson. Next game, it might be another teammate. That’s how good teams work,” he said.
Of teammate Zach Collins, who had 19 points and eight rebounds, he said, “He’s a tough player. He played really well tonight. He’s a smart player, and he’s always been a solid player.”
According to ESPN, he became the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 to reach 100 points and 10 blocks in his first five games. His 38 points are also the third-most ever by a Spurs rookie, with only David Robinson scoring more.
“I want to break all of those records and go even higher,” O’Neal said of joining the ranks of O’Neal and Robinson.
What’s his biggest takeaway from five NBA games so far?
“That a 20-point first quarter lead is nothing,” he says with a laugh. 토토사이트
“We saw it in the FIBA World Cup. We had a 15-point lead against the United States and before you knew it, we were down by one. You don’t even know how it happened, because the offense was so fast and the defense was so good. It’s the same in the NBA. A 20-point lead is nothing.”
The game was not only important for Wembanyama, but also for San Antonio.
Head coach Gregg Popovich said, “You have to learn from experience. You have to learn from the experience. The best part of tonight’s game was that we got back on our feet after getting hit hard by our opponent. The opponent did his job, we lost our composure for a while, but we held on from there and showed good play. Today we had 37 assists and only eight turnovers. We’ll see if we can continue to play like this,” he said, praising the performance.