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Alperen Sengun says Victor Wembanyama ‘not that strong yet’ after scoring career-high 45 points on rookie

Victor Wembanyama has been the talk of the NBA lately, and for good reason, considering his unbelievable play on both sides of the ball. He recently became the first player to record a 5×5 game since 2019, and LeBron James has called him “special.” Someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, he may be the best player in the league. 

Against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, we saw more moments of brilliance from the young Frenchman. We also got a reminder, courtesy of Rockets big man Alperen Sengun, that Wembanyama is still a 20-year-old rookie who has played just 56 games in the league and has room to improve. 

Sengun went off on in the Rockets’ 114-101 win, finishing with a career-high 45 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and five steals. It was the most points scored in a single game by a Turkish player in league history, according to the NBA.

“I mean, yeah, of course [I had extra motivation to play Wembanyama],” said the 21-year-old Sengun, who broke into the league four years ago. “I didn’t play that well against him last game I can say. And I didn’t have many double teams, they just left me one-on-one with Wemby. I just did what I do.”

It was Sengun’s other quote, though, that left more of an impression. 

“He’s so tall but he’s not that strong yet,” Sengun said. “I was going at his chest and putting him under the rim.”

Down the stretch, Sengun scored a number of baskets by out-muscling Wembanyama in the paint. 

With about five minutes to play, Sengun delivered perhaps his most impressive play of the night. After fooling Wembanyama with a shoulder fake, he drove baseline only to find himself stuck under the basket. In order to create space, he backed into the rookie and pushed him out far enough that he could spin back the other way for a big slam. 

Later, in a more obvious use of physicality, Sengun caught the ball on the 3-point line, drove to the basket, and moved Wembanyama back from the dotted circle to the restricted area by putting a shoulder into his chest. With Wembanyama off balance, Sengun was able…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/alperen-sengun-says-victor-wembanyama-not-that-strong-yet-after-scoring-career-high-45-points-on-rookie/

Author : Jack Maloney

Publish date : 2024-03-06 18:51:28

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