NBA world set ablaze by Victor Wembanyama’s explosion vs. Phoenix Suns

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In what is likely to be the first of many, many outstanding performances, Victor Wembanyama played a remarkable game for the San Antonio Spurs in a win against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The rookie phenom’s 38-point game drew reactions of amazement from the NBA universe, ranging from current players to former players to a Spurs Hall of Famer.

Since entering the NBA as arguably its most heralded prospect since LeBron James in 2003, Wembanyama did not disappoint much in his first four games. But on Thursday, he showed what all the hype is really about by making 15 of 26 shots from the field (including 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range) and adding 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in the 132-121 win.

After building a 27-point lead, the Spurs gave it all back as the Suns tied the game with a little more than four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. That’s when the 19-year-old took over again, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to help the Spurs pull away.

It was their second straight win against the Suns, who are considered one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. Wembanyama scored 18 points with eight rebounds and four blocked shots in the 115-114 victory on Tuesday.

In terms of raw numbers, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is averaging 20.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.2 blocks per game playing almost 29 minutes per contest. But it’s his highlight-reel plays and ability to produce jaw-dropping moments on both ends of the court that really have the NBA world buzzing.

It was to be expected by many, but maybe not this soon after his arrival from France. For example, TNT analyst Kenny Smith predicted Wembanyama would win league MVP within four years, but if Thursday was any indication, that timetable might be speeding up.

The fact that his play is also resulting in wins is another great sign, not only for the Spurs but for the league as a whole. It has almost everyone waiting for the prodigy’s next game — which is Sunday against the Toronto Raptors — to see what he’s going to do next.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.