Wemby Watch: Victor Wembanyama leads team to another win as NBA franchises jockey for draft positioning
We have to start this week’s edition of Wemby Watch in Indianapolis, where it looks like the wrong team is bidding for Victor Wembanyama. We entered the year expecting the Pacers to lose their way in the race, but in 10 games they hit a record .500 that will keep them out of the race to the bottom this week. Myles Turner, who scored 37 points in an upset win over the Pelicans on Monday, is openlyto the Lakers on the podcasts … yet the Pacers keep humming along, slashing their Wemby chances with each win.
So we’re forced to ask…are the Colts trying to take over in the losing department? On Monday, they fired former Third Coach of the Year Frank Reich and replaced him with Jeff Saturday, a former Pro Bowler with no coaching experience beyond high school. If Wembanyama takes a surprise heel turn and announces his intention to play wide receiver professionally, it could turn out to be a stroke of genius. Until then, the Colts have set a standard that every Wemby Watch team will struggle to meet. If the Pacers aren’t careful, they might not even have the best first-pick odds in their own state.
Another week, another highlight in a win
Wembanyama and his Mets 92 team improved to 6-1 this season with a 78-69 victory over Limoges, and as it becomes a weekly staple on the Wemby Watch, he Again showed a ridiculous armament of offensive and defensive firepower. Wembanyama scored 33 of his team’s 78 points — his season high by a comfortable margin — and did it on effective 7-of-9 2-point shooting. He drained three of his eight 3-point attempts, the most attempts in a game this season and the most marks for him this season, and he kind of, kind of, made one of 3 to one most absurd leg you will ever see on a basketball court to boot.
For good measure, Wembanyama notched a season-high 12 rebounds and added four assists and three blocks in the win.
With Wembanyama’s talents in high demand, he is set to make his senior France debut in two FIBA World Cup qualifiers later this month – first against Lithuania on November 11 , then against Bosnia on 14 November. Mets The brief break of 92 in the schedule for two weeks will allow him to face even greater competition in a new environment, after proving one of his FIBA U19 team’s most valuable assets a year ago. a year. His upcoming program is as follows.
- Nov. 11 – France vs. Lithuania in FIBA Qualifier, 2:30 p.m. ET, stream link (must have subscription)
- Nov. 14 – France vs Bosnia in FIBA Qualifier, 4:30 p.m. ET, stream link (must have subscription)
- Nov. 20 — Nanterre at Boulogne-Levallois Métropole 92, 2 p.m. ET
- November 26 — Métropoles Boulogne-Levallois 92 in Nancy, 3 p.m. ET
- December 29 — LNB All-Star Game
- February 17-19 — Leaders Cup Games
Each week, we’ll rank the seven teams most likely to win the coveted top spot on lottery night. These rankings will consider current record, recent performance, upcoming schedule, and injuries to subjectively rank the worst teams in the NBA.
7. San Antonio Spurs: The Jazz and Pacers came out of the last seven, and Spurs were on course to do so before a four-game losing streak pushed them back into the hunt. That streak includes a 43-point loss to the Raptors and a 25-point loss to the Nuggets. The Sacramento Kings are on their trail despite their best efforts, but for now, the NBA’s worst defense is keeping the Spurs at No. 7.
6. Charlotte’s Hornets: It’s now been just under a month since LaMelo Ball suffered a 2nd year ankle sprain. We have heard almost nothing about his recovery. The Hornets have lost five straight and now sit comfortably in the heart of Wemby Watch with a 3-8 record. Ball will eventually return, but the Hornets have no reason to rush him.
5. Los Angeles Lakers: If there wasn’t a 3-point miracle, the Lakers would be 1-9 right now. They allowed a combined 269 points in two losses to a Jazz team that has been actively trying to trade their best players to them this offseason. LeBron James just missed his first game of the season with foot pain, and if that doesn’t improve, he’s going to start missing more games with soul pain. The Lakers try to win and they lose more than the teams that try to lose. Just trade for Turner and Buddy Hield, cowards.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Remember last week when we covered Oklahoma City’s propensity for quick starts followed by drastic crashes? The Thunder haven’t won since, and their next four games are against the Bucks, Raptors, Knicks and Celtics. Welcome to the party, Oklahoma City. It’s like you never left!
3. Detroit Pistons: They may not have the worst record in the NBA, but the Pistons own the worst net rating in the league. They’ve been outscored by 9.5 points per 100 possessions so far this season, and their eight losses have been a combined 134 points. Net rating is more predictive of future performance than record, so don’t be surprised if the Pistons gain ground on the Rockets and Magic in the loss column in the coming weeks.
2. Houston Rockets: The Rockets and Magic played Monday with the No. 1 ranking on the line. Orlando stepped up and lost, securing a 2-9 tie with Houston for the NBA’s worst record and a tiebreaker in our unofficial rankings for the #1 spot.
1. The magic of Orlando: Here’s everything you need to know about Orlando’s week: The Magic gave up more than 70 points in one half to the Rockets and, in a separate game, allowed the Kings to outscore them 36-12 in a quarter- time. It wasn’t their worst loss of the week either, which we’ll cover shortly.
Loss of the week
With 7:26 remaining in last Tuesday’s game between the Thunder and Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. hit a 3-pointer to put Orlando 104-93. Their lead was as big as 15, and with so little time left, the Magic were just buckets away from earning what would have been their second win of the season. They just couldn’t find those buckets. They lost 116-108.
That’s right, Magic fans. Your team scored four points in seven minutes and 26 seconds. Even more impressively, they failed to score a single field goal during this period. Do you realize how difficult it is to go seven and a half minutes without shooting from the field? Even famed NBA draft bust Michael Olowakandi managed to average one pitch per 7.34 minutes of playing time for his career. The Magic wasn’t just bad offensively throughout this game. They were bad sub-Olowakandi. The end of the fourth quarter for Orlando was a symphony of bad offense. You have your airballs…
And your failed inbounds…
And yes, in critical possession, they even had Poku.
The funny thing is, Orlando’s offensive process wasn’t great. Yes, the Magic doesn’t have a traditional late-game shot-creator, so most of those responsibilities fell to Franz Wagner. But their shots were largely either relatively open 3s or attempts to attack from the basket. They just didn’t come in, and Orlando’s young players are so unaccustomed to the stress of crunchtime that they just didn’t have the tools to generate the kind of easy points you need to close out games. This problem was not limited to a single loss. Orlando ranked 25th in clutch offense last season and is again ranked 25th so far this season.
It won’t last forever. Young players learn from these reps. But in Wemby Watch’s grand scheme, it could become the most important seven-minute streak of the season. If Orlando had completed that win, the Magic and Thunder would be tied in the win column right now. Instead, the Thunder have twice as many wins (four to two). If the race is tight at the end of the season, that two-game cushion could prove essential for Orlando, and there’s a sizable chance it could be the difference between having the worst record in the NBA and not. It’s rare for a game between two bad teams to live up to the anti-hype, but boy, this one delivered.
games of the weak
Friday, November 11: Pistons at Knicks: New York probably doesn’t make the top seven without major injuries, but we’re keeping tabs on them. They are yet to beat a single team with a record over .500. The converse is that their five losses have come to five good teams. In other words…we may not know much about the Knicks yet. So let’s keep an eye out.
Sunday, November 13: Nets at the Lakers: Welcome to Chaos Bowl. This is technically the first game Kyrie Irving will be able to play if he fulfills the terms of his suspension, although he may not have done so by Sunday. It’s unclear which of these teams has been the most disappointing, so watching them settle the debate this weekend should be a blast for the other 28 fans in the league.
Monday, November 14: Hornets at Magic: Ah, the classic stoppable force (Charlotte’s #28 ranked offense) meets the moving object (Orlando’s #25 ranked defense). What more could you ask for?