By Hocine LOUKKAF on 10/5/2022
Five years ago, Zion and Lamelo tested against each other in a very hyped game but in the disorganized AAU context. What happened last night was different as Wembanyama and Henderson are playing for professionnal teams and also, contrary to Zion and Melo who still had to wait almost two years, will be eligible for this year’s draft.
Why will teams tank for Wembanyama ?
Until this summer, Wembanyama was a dream, a physical freak who had flashes of superstardom but was still a kid playing against grown men. Whatever he worked on this summer, he has come back physically stronger and above all much more confident, signing for Mets 92 where he only plays French championship and has full freedom on the court. He has proved this confidence in the first games of French Pro A averaging 17.3pts 8rbds 2.3as and 2bl, a never-seen-feat for such a young prospect in pro A.
That brings us back to last night, where Wembanyama was sensational, recording 37pts on 7/11 3pt to go with 5bl and only 1to. The French unicorn displayed that his outside shot was no fluke, maoeuvering from the perimeter as if he was a guard despite his 7-5 stature. He also showed that he had attitude, scoring when his team needed it with 11pts during the last five minutes, including 3 three-pointers. We don’t forget his five blocks including one audacious dunking attempt from Scoot that sent him to the ground. Wemby still has room to improve, basically improving his strength and being more active rebounding the ball. Yet, the impression of domination was stunning and, except if he endures
It’s hard to choose what the most impressive thing is between his array of skills, his combination of length and athleticism, the way he’s handling all the attention as a 19yo Frenchman, or maybe a mix of all that, as if he was born to be the #1 pick and a future star, if he can avoir injuries.
Why do Scoot also deserve the attention ?
As Wembanyama ironically explained concerning Henderson, “If I was never born, I think he would deserve the first spot.”. That’s the kind of talent Scoot possesses and he also proved it last night with 28pts on 2/3 3pt 9as 2st and only 2tos, pretty impressive against a French Pro A team with former LSU star and NBA journeyman Tremont Waters as its PG.
A physical freak at the PG spot, strong and with above-average athleticism, Henderson tends also to show that he’s more than that as illustrated by his 9as or his improved shooting. He knows how to finish strong at the rim with numerous moves but has also mastered the knowledge of changing pace, which makes him even more dangerous.
All in all, the team that will get the #2 pick, potentially the Spurs, Jazz, Thunder or Magic among others, once passed the disappointment of not being able to pick Wembanyama, will certainly be ecstatic to be in the position to select the spectacular PG from Georgia.
Game 1 winner : Wembanyama
Last night’s game could end up being one of the most spectacular confrontations between two prospects in recent memory, as Victor Wembanyama confirmed he has that “it” thing to become, if all goes well, one of the most unique talents the NBA has ever experienced. Whatever happens tomorrow, let’s enjoy the great moment both these prospects gave us.
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