Victor Wembanyama Is Getting Real Defensive Player Of The Year Hype

Nikola Jokic revealed what he said to Victor Wembanyama after the French center blocked his shot.



Nikola Jokic and Victor Wembanyama put on a classic center battle last night, as the French center went toe-to-toe with the reigning Finals MVP. Wembanyama registered multiple blocks on Jokic, which led to the Serbian center making empty threats against the presumed Rookie of the Year.


“I told him if you’re gonna block one more shot, I’m gonna… Something. But he blocked like four after that so, I didn’t do anything about it.”


Wembanyama put up 29 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, and nine blocks in the 105-110 loss to Jokic’s Nuggets. Jokic had an MVP-caliber game himself, putting up 42 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists in the win. 


The two teams are on opposite ends of the West, with the Nuggets tied for the No. 1 seed and the Spurs rooted to the No. 15 seed. This game was far more competitive than anyone expected it to be, primarily because of Wembanyama’s game-changing ability to impact results. The thought that this is the worst he’ll ever be is terrifying.


Wembanyama is averaging 1.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.5 blocks as a rookie, currently the runaway favorite to win Rookie of the Year despite Chet Holmgren’s incredible season as well.


Victor Wembanyama Is Getting Real Defensive Player Of The Year Hype


Victor Wembanyama is unlikely to hear his name be called as the Defensive Player of the Year when season awards are handed out, but it’s not a reflection of personal ability. Wemby is legitimately having a DPOY-level season, leading the league in stocks (steals + blocks) with 321, already outranking the stocks of the last 9 DPOY winners.


Draymond Green has endorsed Wembanyama for DPOY.


Wemby should be the Defensive Player of the Year because he’s that amazing defensively. The way he impacts the game defensively, whether it’s on the ball or off the ball, it’s a problem. When you drive to the hole and guys maybe have a layup and turn the other way, that’s a blocked shot in some sense.


The Spurs 18-58 record means it’s highly unlikely that Wemby will be considered for the award. But it’s clear that Wemby will be a perennial contender for the award in the future, as Kyrie Irving also pointed out.


“He’s showing signs that he’s exceeded all the Defensive Player of the Year stats previous to guys that have won it. … I don’t know who they’re going to pick, but I mean, he has all the tools to be named Defensive Player of the Year.”


This season’s DPOY will likely go to Rudy Gobert for anchoring the best defense in the NBA and continuing to prove his defensive impact is second to none. But a new defensive phenom from France is in the NBA right now with Wemby, so it is clear that we’re in the midst of a history-shifting season as Wemby projects to be one of the greatest players of all time. 



Gideon Canice

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