Victory extending its arms to Spurs. She escaped them, again. San Antonio gave in in the second half against Memphis (108-120) on Saturday in “its” Frost Bank Center. Eighth defeat in a row for Victor Wembanyama and his teammates. It stings, it’s worrying, even if we know that we have to be patient with this (very) young team. Another defeat after widening a significant gap in the first period. “The concern is the importance we give to respecting the game plan, the efforts we make to do so. Sometimes, we all forget to make some of these efforts, and it pays for itself, comments the Frenchman, clumsy (6/17) but author of 19 points and 13 rebounds. We must be more comfortable, whatever the scenario of the match. In this case, we have often squandered our lead in the second half since the start of the season. We need to improve on this as quickly as possible.”
It may not be easy in the short term, knowing that Gregg Popovich's players will face the L.A. Clippers twice at home before challenging Golden State and Denver on the road next week. Great program! “Maybe it’s unconscious… We didn’t want to relive that, I didn’t want to relive that. The question is how we will react: by complaining or by bringing good energy, fresh energy, when we return from the locker room,” said “Wemby”, who never shy away from the microphones and comes to answer questions. journalists after the matches.
After this new setback, the Spurs have a dull record of three victories and ten defeats. Last of the class in the West. Enough to crack the locker room? "No. We have a very healthy locker room and healthy relationships between us. When we lose, we lose together. If someone lowers their head, we'll help them. When a player is down, we rush to pick him up,” says the former Nanterre, Asvel and Mets player, who was not used to a series of defeats in France. “I expected everything,” he explains about his expectations at the start of the season. I had no visibility on other teams or even ours. And even today, it's difficult to say in the long term. I'm a rookie, I'm trying to learn how to do it. And continued: “It’s different from what I’ve experienced in my career but above all because it’s a totally different environment. That's all I know about the NBA. Even before starting the season, getting drafted, I knew there would be challenges. The important thing is how you approach them.” Barely.
Good news ? Wembanyama set a new personal best in blocks. Until now, he had never made more than five. This time, the giant (2.24m) from Ile-de-France inflicted eight (!) on the Grizzlies. And yet, Memphis players often avoided coming across him in the paint. XXL deterrence. This is also what “Wemby” felt on Saturday. “If the opponents attack me more and more? Less and less in fact… I’ve already seen him since the start of the season but also earlier in my life,” he says. Next meeting for the Spurs? Monday, against the Clippers of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.