The Wemby era is off to a great start

He leads all rookies in points per game and clutch scoring

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, the NBA's first round draft pick, poses for photos during an NBA basketball media day in San Antonio, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Spurs forward-center Victor Wembanyama is the odds-on favorite to win the 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and so far, he’s leading the rookie class.

After nearly two weeks of regular-season action, Wemby is averaging 20.6 points per game. The only first-year player averaging more than 20 ppg.

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Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren is next at 15.5 points per game.

Wembanyama and Holmgren have each scored 103 points this season to lead all rookies. Wemby has reached that total in five games played, while Holmgren has needed six.

When it comes to cleaning the glass, Wembanyama ranks second, averaging 8.0 rebounds per contest. Detroit Pistons rookie forward Ausar Thompson is number one at 9.3 per game.

And talk about ice in his veins. When the game is on the line, the 7-foot-4 phenom stands taller than every NBA rookie with 21 clutch points this season, tied for 4th best.

The NBA defines clutch time as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points.

Wemby is the only rookie in the top 50 this season for clutch points, and he’s made 7-of-10 field goals in crunch time. So far, he’s coming through when the Spurs need him the most, and he’s only 19 years old.

By comparison, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry leads the NBA this season with 24 clutch points. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Los Angeles Lakers forward Lebron James are next with 23 clutch points. Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic is 3rd with 22, and Wembanyama is tied for 5th place with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.

Wembanyama will look to continue his impressive rookie campaign when the San Antonio Spurs host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Frost Bank Center.

About the Author

Larry Ramirez joined the KSAT 12 sports team in October 2004.

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