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Spurs' Victor Wembanyama shows flashes in NBA Summer League debut


All eyes were on San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama when he made his NBA Summer League debut on Friday night.

In a game against No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets, Wembanyama was terrific on the defensive end, blocking five shots and altering many others.

Offensively, he struggled, finishing with 9 points on 2-for-13 shooting from the field (including a pair of air-balled three-point attempts in the fourth quarter). He also chipped in 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the Spurs' 76-68 win over the Hornets.

While the packed crowd at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas wanted to see Wemby take over the game and dominate, he was often looking to pass and set up his new teammates. After the game, Wembanyama admitted that he has a lot to learn.

"Honestly, I didn't really know what I was doing on the court tonight, but I’m trying to learn," he told reporters.

It's clear that Wembanyama needs to bulk up, and working with the Spurs' strength and conditioning staff should help him in that department. 

Thoughts on Victor Wembanyama's Summer League debut? 🤔

Full Stats 📊

• 9 PTS
• 8 REB
• 5 BLK
• 3 AST
• 2/13 FGM
• 1/6 3PM
• 27 MIN pic.twitter.com/nTgAIjtbB8

— BasketballNews.com (@basketbllnews) July 8, 2023

The game was likely the most-watched Summer League contest ever, and while Wemby didn't dominate, he did show glimpses of brilliance. 

“All in all, I think he did a good job," Spurs Summer League coach Matt Nielsen said. "You can see his basketball IQ is elite."

The hype around Wembanyama is largely due to his long-term upside. We've never seen a player of his size with his skill-set, so there's no question he has a ton of potential. And it's clear that his defense should immediately translate to the NBA level. On the offensive end, he needs some work, but he'll be in good hands with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and his staff.

The Spurs' next Summer League game is Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers, who may not play No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson after he sustained a shoulder injury on Friday against the Houston Rockets.

Wemby is only expected to play one or two more games, then the Spurs will likely shut him down to ensure that he stays healthy.

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