Crazy stat shows just how advanced Victor Wembanyama already is on defense

He's still just a 19-year-old rookie, learning the ropes in the best basketball league in the world. But there is no denying Victor Wembanyama's defensive impact.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

This season, we've witnessed Wemby drop 38 points on Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns, catch lobs, and dance around with the ball on the perimeter like a two-guard. Seeing a guy of his size do these things makes you wonder, is this real? His length and versatility has mesemrized the NBA. Yet, even though the offensive numbers are impressive, the most impressive aspect of Wemby's game is his defensive ability.

Prepare to rub your eyes in disbelief. According to StatMuse, Wembanyama is the only player with 20+ steals and 25+ blocks this season.

Per StatMuse on Twitter:

Victor Wembanyama is a steal + block machine

As a rookie, Wemby is leading the league in stocks (steals + blocks) this season. Keep in mind, Wemby has only played 17 NBA games compared to Lopez's 963 and Anthony Davis' 676. It's slightly horrifying to realize both Brook Lopez (66) and Anthony Davis (64) are trailing behind Wembanyama, as they are both established defensive anchors while Wembanyama is merely clearing his throat regarding his NBA career. 

During last night's San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets match, Wembanyama contributed 22 points, four blocks, and six steals. Nuggets' head coach Michael Malone spoke highly of Wembanyama after the game. Malone told ESPN, "That guy is a hell of a player, he’s only going to get better.”

Although the Spurs lost that game 132-120, Popovich confirmed afterward that Wemby is "affecting the game in a lot of different ways." Popovich explained. "He’s blocking shots. He’s scoring. He’s a willing assist man. He’s very unselfish. He doesn’t worry about making a mistake.” That's high praise from a future Hall of Fame coach.

As expected, Wembanyama ranks first among rookies in blocks and steals per game, averaging 2.6 blocks and 1.3 steals. There is an eerily similarity between Wemby's 2.6 blocks per game and Tim Duncan's 2.5 blocks per game as a rookie. In fact, Wemby's 2.6 blocks per game are dangerously close to Hakeem Olajuwon's 2.7 blocks as a rookie. Overall, Wemby is in good company when it comes to defensive statistics.

Next. story link. The Whiteboard: New No. 1 in Defensive Player of the Year race. dark