In the recent season opener against the Dallas Mavericks, the San Antonio Spurs faced a tough loss on their home court, ending with a score of 126-119.
The Mavericks’ standout performance, led by Luka Doncic with 33 points and Kyrie Irving with 22 points, presented a significant challenge for the Spurs.
Despite the defeat, the Spurs’ Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson demonstrated notable scoring prowess, securing 23 and 17 points, respectively.
However, the spotlight was on the Spurs’ top draft pick, Victor Wembanyama, whose debut garnered attention.
Despite encountering foul trouble and playing the least minutes among the Spurs’ starters, Wembanyama contributed 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 23 minutes of play.
Commenting on Wembanyama’s debut, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich praised the young player’s resilience, emphasizing his ability to maintain composure despite the challenging circumstances.
“I think he was great,” he said. “One of the toughest things for a player is to get into foul trouble and you never get into rhythm and you’re in and out of the game and that sort of thing.
“I thought his maturity showed even at a young age where he came in with the last I think seven minutes and just play. We ran some stuff for him, he executed.
“A lot of guys would have been totally out of it by then because they, as you said, were in foul trouble and didn’t get their rhythm. I thought he had a wonderful outing, considering that.”
Popovich further emphasized Wembanyama’s defensive prowess and highlighted his potential for developing a commanding presence on the court.
While acknowledging that it may take some time for the team to fully integrate, Popovich expressed overall satisfaction with Wembanyama’s performance, commending his energy and growth on both ends of the court.
“I love his energy, his defensive energy. Offensively he’s learning how to control a group out there. It’ll take a little bit of time to gel them together, but I was really pleased with him overall,” the coach added.