Victor Wembanyama's injury to end the month
Wemby's first injury of his career in the NBA coincided with the end of November. While he was listed as questionable on the Spurs injury report for the November 30 home game versus the Atlanta Hawks, he did play and ended up posting the kind of stat line we've become accustomed to from the generational prospect. He scored 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots in a 137-135 setback that served as the Spurs' 13th consecutive loss.
Immediately following, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said Wembanyama's status for the team's next game was uncertain because of the hip tightness that plagued him leading up to Thursday's contest. The 7-foot-5 marvel echoed those sentiments, adding that he considered himself “day to day.”
Spurs postgame#VictorWebanyama considers himself day to day
Asked him if his hip bothered him during tonight’s game.⬇️
— Hector Ledesma (@HectorLedesmaTV) December 1, 2023
Wemby didn't play in Friday night's Spurs 121-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Wemby through November
In playing in every Spurs game through November, the French phenom produced All-Star caliber numbers. He averaged 19.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, the high point coming in just his fifth NBA contest when he scored 38 points, outdueling Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in the fourth quarter of a second straight 132-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Silver and Black have not won again since, though Wemby is confident the team will turn things around.
“When I see the purpose every day. Everybody comes with a purpose and comes to do (well) at work. Everybody knows where we're going and most of the people here have been though everything before so we're good. We're in good hands,” Wemby shared.
It's no coincidence that some of the Spurs' most disappointing losses have come in games in which Wembanyama has struggled. He scored 11 in a 40-point shellacking at the Los Angeles Clippers, put up just 13 in a 41-point blowout against the Indianapolis Pacers, tallied 14 in a 21-point rout in his Madison Square Garden debut, and managed a career-low eights points in a big loss at Oklahoma City.
Wembanyama has scored single digits only once since that November 14 head-to-head match-up with Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren (who scored nine points that same night).
“What's satisfying so far is that all the areas that we've targeted with the coaches and individual work, we've actually gotten better at it. It means we're not talking for nothing and doing work for nothing,” Wemby added.
ClutchPoints asked Victor Wembanyama if the first month seemed like it was over in the blink of an eye or if it dragged because of the team's struggles, and he responded: “It has flown by, especially I'd say the first ten games went just like that. And the losses add up quick too.”
Rookie of the Month race vs. Chet Holmgren
The NBA Rookie of the Month competition is a two-man race with Holmgren. The second-year power forward, who missed all if his true rookie season because of injury, averaged 17.9 points, 7.8 and 2.1 blocks per game through November.
“Not at all when you’re losing”
— Hector Ledesma (@HectorLedesmaTV) November 28, 2023
When asked if getting the monthly honor matters to him, the top overall pick in the most recent June's draft answered with clarity: “I'd rather have…no, not really, not when we're losing. Not at all when we're losing.”