After posting a rare “5×5” game, San Antonio Spurs phenom Victor Wembanyama followed with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in a loss to the Utah Jazz. Such outings are now the norm for the generational prospect and beg the question of how much more he can improve before the end of his rookie campaign.

“It's a long season, new challenge every night. You see guys like Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], [Joel] Embiid, they might score 30 a night, but every night they're going again to score 30. Once you've done it, it's about repeating,” Wemby said.

The progression of Victor Wembanyama

For the season the top overall pick in this past summer's draft is averaging 20.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and a league-leading 3.3 blocks per game.

“I think that's one of the hardest things. He's capable of so much,” Spurs coach Mitch Johnson said, “But you still want to have some kind of structure where you're not opening the flood gates and then it's hard for not only for him but for his teammates to expect where to be or where to go or to be in a rhythm.”

“You want guys to find spots and then their teammates can play off of them. But, yeah, we want him to continue to grow in those places, play more pick-and-roll handler and some things like that,” the Spurs assistant continued.

“To me, it's a lot of learning how to be more patient,” Wembanyama said, “It's the key. All the greats today are patient and control the pace of the game. To me, this is something I want to keep improving 'til the end of the season.”

It's natural to look at the big picture for a young player who's making such a mark in the league. It's a challenge with which the Spurs are well aware.

Baby steps for Wemby

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Arena
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In notching 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks, and five steals in a loss to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, the 20-year-old phenom also joined Michael Jordan as the only NBA players to ever post consecutive games with at least five blocks and steals. With those kinds of accomplishments already, the short-term goals are as important, perhaps more, than where Wembanyama could end up.

“More of the same. Continue the process. The game has slowed down for him I think it's fair to say, but continue to be discipline, do the little things,” Johnson said. “I think that's what's hard is when he can get going sometimes, we still want to focus on strong catches, where you're catching the ball, attention to detail, nuances on the scouting report defensively, solid passes, some of the small stuff. The hardest stuff, he's pretty good at.”

For all the talk of the greats and the game's best players today, Victor Wembanyama knows the focus starts with him.

“There's always ups and downs in everything, but shot selection. Getting rid of more bad shots and shots where I settle for floaters and mid-range shots. I think I've learned a little bit more on defense and on offense with my teammates. How to fit more with the team.”