After an offseason that demanded the Mavericks to be aggressive, the 2023-24 season will begin with a tough defensive assignment in containing Victor Wembanyama. The 7’4″ point forward was the consensus number one overall pick as one of the most highly touted prospects since LeBron James.
Already in this preseason, we have seen the brilliance of what Wemby can do on the floor. Just take a look for yourself during this sequence against Golden State. If that’s not enough for you, he is also making incredible no look behind the back passes. There really aren’t words that can describe how unique of a player Wembanyama is. To classify him as a big that operates as a guard is somehow not enough.
We even see our old friend Reggie Bullock (pictured above) being victimized by Wemby in the form of a nutmeg.
There is only so much you can do in practice to prepare for a player like Wembanyama. Mavs’ Player Development Coach God Shammgod took it upon himself to do everything in his power to replicate what it may look like trying to get a shot off over him. In this video from practice, he can be heard hollering “Wemby! Wemby!” while using arm extenders to contest shots.
Ahead of this game there is a question as to whether or not Doncic will be ready to go. Luka suffered a calf strain while practicing in Madrid, which limited him to under 5 minutes of play against his former team. “It was my calf yesterday in practice, nothing serious,” Doncic said. “They just don’t want to make it worse, you know? I tried to go and talk to the front office people, but you know me, I wish I played 40 minutes but couldn’t.”
While nothing too serious, it is still something to monitor heading into opening night. Dallas will look to spoil the start of the Spurs’ Wemby era.