HomeBasketball TodaySpurs' Rising Star Victor Wembanyama Channels Tim Duncan with Rookie Record and...

Spurs’ Rising Star Victor Wembanyama Channels Tim Duncan with Rookie Record and DPOY Contention

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Victor Wembanyama continues to amaze with how fast he has progressed on the defensive end for the Spurs.

The San Antonio Spurs may be the worst team in the Western Conference, as they took another loss, a 117-106 defeat on Friday night in a tough matchup against the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, but the future remains bright for one of the league’s most storied franchises, thanks in large part to the presence of Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama has a long way to go before he reaches his full potential, but who he is now is a tantalizing player all the same due to his incredible ability to rack up defensive stats.

Against the Nuggets, in the most difficult matchup imaginable against Nikola Jokic, Wembanyama put up three more blocks, putting his total for the season at exactly 200. As a result, Wembanyama is reaching defensive levels as a rookie that only nine other players in NBA history have reached. And as fate would have it, the most recent player to get to the same level was a member of the Spurs throughout his Hall of Fame playing career.

According to NBA on ESPN, Victor Wembanyama is the first player since Tim Duncan to tally 200 or more blocks in their rookie season. The Spurs rookie, despite his youth, towers over his opponents; in 59 games played this season, Wembanyama has averaged 3.4 blocks, and it’s a frightening prospect to think about how much more impactful he would be with a few more years of NBA experience under his belt.

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Wembanyama is on pace to tally the sixth-best shot-blocking season since the turn of the century, and given how rapidly he has progressed on that end of the floor for the Spurs, plenty of Defensive Player of the Year awards are certain to reside in his trophy cabinet when all is said and done.

Of course, Spurs fans will point to the travesty that is Tim Duncan’s failure to win a Defensive Player of the Year award in his 19-year career. Duncan made a total of 15 All-NBA Defensive Teams (seven in the first team, eight in the second team), so it’s a marvel that he wasn’t able to take home the acclaim. But Victor Wembanyama looks poised to right those wrongs.

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About the Author

Jedd Pagaduan is a certified Clippers and Gunners fan, which means he’s a very sports-traumatized individual. He now writes about sports instead as a form of therapy.


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