Victor Wembanyama just short of quadruple-double in historic performance against Nuggets


Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone called Victor Wembanyama “the future of the NBA” after defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, but the compliment almost didn’t go far enough. He went toe-to-toe with Nikola Jokic, whom most would consider the “present” of the NBA, and very nearly came out on top with yet another historic stat line.

Wembanyama finished the game with 23 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks and eight assists. Had Michael Porter Jr. missed the 3-pointer with 27.1 seconds remaining that ultimately won the game for Denver, the Nuggets and Spurs may have gone to overtime and given Wembanyama five more minutes to chase the elusive quadruple-double. There have been only four of them on record in NBA history (though in fairness, blocks weren’t recorded until after Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain retired), and the last came 30 years ago when David Robinson did so in 1994. It should go without saying that no rookie has ever achieved a quadruple-double. 

Alas, Wembanyama didn’t get the extra time that he needed, and so the presumptive Rookie of the Year fell just short of one of the NBA’s greatest statistical achievements. Instead, he had to settle for becoming the first player in league history to finish a game with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, eight blocks and eight assists.

Wembanyama has made a habit of posting statistical anomalies. He already has one of only 22 five-by-five games in league history. On Feb. 29 he became the only player ever to earn seven assists, five blocks and five 3-pointers. A March 17 game against the Nets made him just the fourth player ever to reach 33 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks and seven assists. The list goes on and on and on. It’s only going to get longer.

That is what Malone meant when he said that Wembanyama is the league’s future. If he’s doing all of this now, as a rookie, it stands to reason that the numbers are only going to get crazier with time. After all, he’s seen a similar progression up close with Jokic, who outdueled Wembanyama Tuesday with 42 points, 16 rebounds…

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Author : Sam Quinn

Publish date : 2024-04-03 04:38:31

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