The ball proves that Victor Wembanyama is the “Best Defensive Player of the Year” of the NBA 2023/24


Victor Wembanyama

(The Sporting News Illustrations)

Victor Wembanyama is increasingly showing extraordinary performance right in his rookie season in the NBA.

Just last week, the young French star joined the NBA’s “Five by Five” group of accomplished players . Four more games since then, Victor Wembanyama is averaging 24.5 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks and 1.5 steals. That is Wembanyama’s extremely comprehensive set of stats in both attack and defense.

There have been many opinions that Victor Wembanyama deserves the title of “Best Defensive Player of the Year” in the 2023/24 season. Let’s review with The Sporting News the phase in which the young French star showed off his defensive skills.

The ball proves that Victor Wembanyama is “The best defensive player of the year”

🎥 Wemby’s defensive tackle

✏️ Explanation

TJ McConnell picked up the ball and launched an attack for the Indiana Pacers. But when he noticed that Victor Wembanyama was covering behind him, this player did not see any space to get to the basket even though he received support.

Therefore, McConnell decided to pass the ball to Myles Turnur in the corner. Realizing that Turner is a powerful center under the basket and can still shoot 3-pointers, Wembanyama decided to keep his distance, just enough to prevent a breakthrough situation and take advantage of his long arm span to threaten to jump to block a 1-pointer. pitch from Myles Turner.

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Wembanyama vs. Pacers No. 1


Feeling deadlocked, Myles Turner brought the ball back to McConnell, then stepped forward to cover and separate his body for McConnell to break through. The defender of the Indiana Pacers had a clear path toward the basketball court and immediately dribbled the ball there.

However, Victor Wembanyama immediately followed, not trying to steal the ball but just waiting for an opportunity to block a throw from a player smaller than him. This move even covered the flip pass intended for Myles Turner from TJ McConnell.

With just one smart close move, Victor Wembanyama stopped all of his opponent’s attack intentions.

Wembanyama vs. Pacers No. 2


TJ McConnell dribbled the ball all the way around the basketball circle, then passed it back to Myles Turner for another shot.

Then, Turner gave the ball back to the team’s superstar Tyrese Haliburton. Realizing that the opponent could pass, Wembanyama immediately stood behind Tre Jones to be ready to cover.

Wembanyama vs. Pacers No. 3


The ball was returned to Myles Turner in the right corner. This player makes a feint throw and then breaks through to create space for himself.

However, Victor Wembanyama immediately approached and did just the right amount of bouncing. As soon as he saw Turner break through to the left, Wembanayam stopped his stomping and immediately turned to follow Myles Turner.

Remember, tall players often do not have enough speed and flexibility to both execute blocking situations and turn to close when the opposing player breaks through. Rudy Gobert, a 2m16 tall player and NBA defensive superstar, often lets people pass in this phase, but Victor Wembanyma does not, even though he is 2m24 tall.

Wembanyama vs. Pacers No. 4


With fierce pursuit from Victor Wembanyama, Myles Turner was unable to handle the ball well and violated the running rule.

Wembanyama vs. Pacers No. 5


🤔 How effective is this shot?

Victor Wembanyama is only 20 years old, but statistics show that this player is having a perfect season in defense.

Up to now, Wembanyama is averaging 3.4 blocks per match, the best number in the 2023/24 season. In February alone, the young French star had 47 blocks, far surpassing the person in second place, Anthony Davis, who only had 31 blocks.

Not only that, Victor Wembanyama also brought incredible achievements in advanced statistics. Specifically, the players who faced Wembanyama in the area near the basket only had a shooting efficiency of 54.6%, 9.8% lower than the normal shooting rate statistics by the NBA. That is also the best performance in the tournament at the present time.

That’s just the statistics. In fact, on the field, Victor Wembanyama also creates a huge amount of pressure in defense, things that cannot be recognized if only looking at the numbers. As in the above situation, Victor Wembanyama created a threat to TJ McConnell, preventing Myles Turner from making a shot 3 to 2 times, making Tyrese Haliburton not dare to break through in just 18 seconds.

And in case Myles Turner doesn’t get caught running, you’ll be surprised when Victor Wembanyama has a second jump shot immediately to block that shot. It’s not easy for a player to have a second rebound that quickly, even in the NBA arena.

As an article analyzed, it is difficult for Victor Wembanyama to win the title of “Best Defensive Player of the Year” when the collective performance of the San Antonio Spurs is quite poor. However, the potential for Victor Wembanyama to shine in the future is huge.

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