Wemby Watch: Reasons every NBA team rushing down for Victor Wembanyama can be grateful
It’s Thanksgiving week, so naturally, as this space is dedicated to just one basketball player, it seemed only natural to do a bit of research on how our French protagonist will be spending his vacation. And “search” is a substitute for Google, and “holidays” means (in this case) Thanksgiving, but, of course, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in France. In fact, according to Google, most French people don’t even know what Thanksgiving is. (Royal cheese. Hey, if you know, you know – if not, do your “research”.)
So for now, Victor Wembanyama has to live his week as usual. A year from now, he’ll be munching on turkey legs and all the trimmings in the middle of the afternoon watching the Detroit Lions allow their fifth touchdown of the day along with the rest of us. But until then, he’ll have to settle for the wealth and fame that come with his remarkable basketball gifts. Speaking of those freebies…
Wembanyama keeps Mets 92 warm
Hot on the heels of a successful two-game stint with the French senior national team for a pair of FIBA qualifiers, Wembanyama picked up where he left off with his Mets 92 team this week, scoring 30 points – his second 30 pieces of the season – in a 92-85 victory against Nanterre 92.
Against Nanterre, the team he first signed as a professional with in 2019, Wembanyama also equaled his season high with five blocks. With the win, Mets 92 extended their winning streak to seven games and first place in the league after opening the season with a loss.
The Mets 92 will be back in action on Nov. 26 with a showdown against SLUC Nancy Basket scheduled for 2 p.m. The game — in fact, all of Wembanyama’s games this season — will be streamed for free on the NBA app.
- November 26 — Métropoles Boulogne-Levallois 92 in Nancy, 2 p.m. ET
- December 2 — Fos-sur-Mer, 2:30 p.m. ET
- December 6 — in Roanne, 2:00 p.m. ET
We’re going to do something a little different this week. In gratitude for Thanksgiving, let’s find one thing each of our seven worst teams should be thankful for – besides their slim shot at Wembanyama.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander eats the sun and drinks the sky. If it’s possible to compete for the MVP award on a sub-.500 team, he will. He’s one 3-pointer off a 50-40-90 season and is averaging over 31 points per game. The result doesn’t even matter to the Thunder this season. Tune into their games to see this basketball jedi do things no one else on Earth can.
6. Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Davis found the fountain of youth, and apparently it’s in El Segundo. LeBron James thinks Davis, and it’s hard to disagree based on his performance since James got injured. The season could have ended for the Lakers 2-10 with James sidelined. Instead, Davis dragged them back to the precipice of respectability. The Pelicans may not be thrilled about it, but the Lakers are very grateful to have they traded once to return to full strength.
5. San Antonio Spurs: Do you remember when Devin Vassell was supposed to do a 3D role? It either. The third-year wing thrives in an expanded role to the tune of more than 20 points per game. More importantly, it creates many of these points for itself. Vassell scores 1,111 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball handler, which ranks in the 92nd percentile in the league. He might not be a superstar, but he’d make a hell of a teammate for Wembanyama if the lottery went San Antonio’s way.
4. The magic of Orlando: I’m just going to leave this Bol Bol highlight reel here for you to enjoy at your leisure. The Magic might not get Wembanyama but they have the discounted version.
3. Charlotte’s Hornets: Alright…this one’s a challenge…I’m guessing they’re seventh in the NBA in offensive rebound rate? Their uniforms are always cool. Yeah, it works. Be grateful for cool uniforms.
2. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey is averaging over 21 points per game in his last five appearances, and he’s done it on a league-average 3-point shot. In a perfect world, the Pistons would have a healthy Cade Cunningham, but the silver lining for them is the opportunity his injury gave them to develop Ivey. The No. 4 pick made the most of this opportunity, and if he continues to shoot well, his incredible speed will only make him a more lethal driver.
1. Houston Rockets: It’s often said that fans don’t like to watch teams lose. These fans have never watched the Rockets. They’re bad but they’re not remotely boring. KJ Martin is one of the best dunkers in the NBA. Alperen Sengun is definitely the best Alperen Sengun in the NBA, and to better understand what that means, you should probably check out some of the funky stuff he does in the post. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. score a bunch of points and give up even more. Nobody in Houston is clamoring for the Rockets to move quickly on their rebuilding, because they’re perfectly fun as is.
Loss of the week
There hasn’t been anything too egregious this week, so we’ll take this opportunity to remind everyone to take out opposing guards. Bol Bol didn’t do that well enough in a Saturday loss to Indiana. If he had, a 108-107 loss is like a 109-106 win for the Magic.
It seems like we use that excuse for the Magic every week, but it’s a mistake by the young team. As of this writing, Bol Bol has only played 80 combined NBA and college games. Basic mistakes like these clean up with age. What if they helped Orlando land at Wembanyama? Well… nobody’s complaining.
games of the weak
Saturday, November 26: Thunder at Rockets: OKC nearly slipped out of the bottom seven last week, but they’ve lost two in a row and the limited cast around Gilgeous-Alexander will only allow for so many wins. A trip to Houston is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Saturday, November 26: Lakers at Spurs: The Spurs and Lakers actually play twice this week, once on Friday and once on Saturday. If our goal is to find the worst games of the week, we should probably pick the second half of their consecutive games.
Monday, November 28: Pacers at the Lakers: Sure, the game itself will be enjoyable, but the pre and post game will be the real story here. We’re going to see hugs and handshakes and cryptic LeBron James quotes about Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. Who knows, maybe if the game goes well enough, the Pacers will just leave them in Los Angeles.