The San Antonio Spurs almost forced overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Almost. Unfortunately, Victor Wembanyama passed on a shot that would have tied the game for them with just a few seconds left.
That’s not to say that Wembanyama made a mistake. In fact, it actually looked like he made the right call.
With just less than 20 seconds left and the Spurs trailing 117-115, Wembanyama received the ball near the basket for the potential game-tying shot. But with two Cavaliers defenders mobbing him, he decided to pass the ball to Jeremy Sochan, who was left open under the rim as Cleveland focused on the rookie big man.
Instead of taking the shot, though, Sochan passed it outside. It wasn’t the best pass either, as it sailed high and out of bounds.
It was certainly a massive error for the Spurs, and many were quick to question Wembanyama for his decision-making. There’s no question he could have tried to use his size to his advantage and take the shot himself, but at the end of the day, things just didn’t go the way he imagined when he decided to pass the ball.
— 50 Nuances 🇺🇸🏀 (@50NuancesDeNBA) January 7, 2024
Speaking to reporters postgame, Victor Wembanyama was asked about the botched ending for the San Antonio Spurs and whether or not he would take the shot if he could re-do it.
Interestingly, Wembanyama said he doesn’t think so. However, he did promise that he won’t make the same mistake, if there is any.
“I don’t think so. I need to re-watch the tape but I don’t know. Of course, I’m not going to make that mistake again if I made one,” Wemby shared, via Hector Ledesma of ClutchPoints.
Wembanyama then proceeded to encourage his teammates to quickly move on, highlighting that they can only learn from the experience but cannot cry over it. After all, in the NBA, they need to quickly shift their focus amid a grueling season schedule.
We made all this effort for the whole game, especially at the end. We had this run. We could mathematically, easily come back before this but it’s just stuff that happens. We’ve got to get over it and do the job before,” Wembanyama added.
Victor Wembanyama Impresses for San Antonio Spurs in Loss to Cleveland Cavaliers
Despite the San Antonio Spurs’ loss, Victor Wembanyama continues to strengthen his case as the best rookie in the class of 2024. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wemby dropped 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and five blocks.
In doing so, Wembanyama now has 10 games with at least 20 points and four blocks, which is the most in the NBA. Joel Embiid is second with such games with seven, according to reporter Brett User. He also broke his tie with Tim Duncan for the most with such stat line for a rookie.
Wembanyama has also reached the 100-block mark in the game, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to do so within their first 35 career games since 1973-74 when blocks were first recorded.
While it would have been great had the Spurs won, it’s still something that Wemby and crew can look back to and learn a lot from.
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