3 Takeaways from the Spurs playing without Wemby: Victor Wembanyama is being estranged?

While there’s no doubt the Spurs are better with Victor Wembanyama, they have played very well in their last three games without him.

Heading into Wednesday’s game at the Utah Jazz, the San Antonio Spurs were glad to have rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama back. Though, if he hadn’t fully recovered from a left ankle sprain, it was hard to blame them if they appeared confident. In the Silver and Black’s last three games without Wemby – all this month, they’ve not only played well, they’ve been great. Wins against the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors followed a tough loss in which they led the Sacramento Kings late.

Here are three takeaways from the Spurs playing sans the generational talent.

Spurs refocus when Victor Wembanyama is out

Whether it’s because they have a 7-foot-4 stopper behind them defensively or an offensive force who can, at times, get whatever shot he wants, the Spurs game plan heavily involves Wembanyama.

When he’s not in the line-up, they know they need to replace what he brings.

“I think it’s just understanding he’s a key piece that we’re missing. We need to be more connected in that sense if we’re missing him,” Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan said.

“We’ve got to do stuff he does, whether that’s defense, rebounding, making it difficult for people to score in the paint. Because we don’t have him as a key piece, we have to be connected. We’ve got to help each other more and play fast,” the former Baylor Bear concluded.

In the first of San Antonio’s most recent games without last summer’s top overall pick, they lost to the Kings 131-129.

SA would’ve been better with Wemby

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) and head coach Gregg Popovich speak during a break in action against the Utah Jazz during the third quarter at Delta Center.

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
For center Zach Collins, at least one takeaway is simple.

“I have no doubt if Victor played, we would have done the same thing, if not beat them by more. He’s just as a competitive guy as I’ve been around. I think that was a big part of it,” the third-year Spur said.

“And, obviously we learned from our mistakes in the last game. The physicality was a lot better in the last game from the he second quarter on, but it was too late. We did that for 48 minutes and we took care of the ball so that was the difference,” Collins continued in talking about Monday’s victory vs. the Suns.

It’s an effort Wembanyama noticed.

“The physicality they put in the game it was great. I think Phoenix didn’t expect that from us. And, obviously, Jeremy’s big game. When it all comes together like this, this is when we start winning for real.”

That 104-102 win against Phoenix marked the Silver and Black’s most recent contest without the French phenom.

It shows how good the Spurs can be

If they can play well without him, can you imagine how good they’d be with him consistently?

That’s how the longest-tenured Spur puts it. Keldon Johnson says their Wemby-less games, like a 126-113 win in San Francisco, prove it’s a matter of time before San Antonio turns the corner.

“Just time. We’re going to get it right. It’s just a matter of time. And when we do get it right, it’s going to be real scary,” the fifth year forward says.

For now, the 17-56 Spurs are trying to avoid finishing at 19-63, which would mark the worst record in franchise history.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://newsnews123.com - © 2024 News