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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

Victor Wembanyama Struggles in Summer League Debut

The Summer League is a great way for NBA fans to get a sneak peak at the next generation of greatness in the NBA. Some struggle in the Summer League and turn out just fine in actual league play, and for some players, it is the opposite result. Yesterday's Summer League matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Charlotte Hornets was easily one of the most hyped up Summer League games of all time because it featured our first look at Victor Wembanyama playing basketball in a Spurs jersey. While the international sensation made some great defensive plays, it looks like it may take some time for Wemby to adjust to offense at the NBA level.

Image provided by CNN

Wembanyama finished yesterday's contest with only nine points on 2-13 shooting from the field, 1-6 from three point range and 4-4 from the free throw line. Although Wemby struggled offensively, he gave fans a sneak preview of the problems he will cause defensively with his 7'4 frame as he finished the game with five blocked shots. Wembanyama may have also already had his "Welcome to the NBA" moment after getting posterized by Charlotte's Kai Jones on an alley-oop dunk.

Although it was a play that may have summed up Wembanyama's struggles last night, he will be on the right side of plays like that when it comes to protecting the rim more often than not. Some of the league's best rim protectors such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert have gotten posterized plenty of times, but both have one the Defensive Player of the Year award in their careers for their rim protection.

After the game, Wembanyama said he didn't really know what he was doing on the court, but he is trying to learn. That should be the focus for Wemby and the Spurs this year. His rookie season should be about getting used to living in the United States and transitioning from overseas basketball to NBA basketball. It is too early to predict that Wemby will be an All-Star this year or that the Spurs will make the Play-in Tournament. If Wembanyama improves progressively throughout his rookie season and demonstrates that he has a chance to live up to all of his hype, that will be a successful season for him and the Spurs.

Image provided by the New York Times

Nobody should overreact to what happens in the Summer League, whether it is good or bad. Because of all of the hype surrounding Wemby and the Spurs, fans and media are going to be keyed in on his performances and react on a game-to-game basis.

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