OKLAHOMA CITY – Victor versus Chet. Holmgren facing Wembanyama. No matter how you say it, this has the makings of the NBA’s next big rivalry.
The two 7-foot rookies will square off in the regular season for the very first time Tuesday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder (6-4) host the San Antonio Spurs (3-7).
Six weeks ago, the two saw each other in a preseason game won by the Thunder 122-121 at the Paycom Center. Victor Wembanyama had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.
During one sequence, Wemby created his own shot by beating Holmgren 1-on-1 to the rim for a bucket and foul, prompting Wemby to flex in approval.
Chet Holmgren was just as impressive that night with 21 points, 9 rebounds and a block. He fired back later with his own hoop and foul on Zach Collins and flexed in return.
After 10 games, Wembanyama leads all rookies in points (197) and blocks (24). Holmgren is second in total points (164) and blocked shots (23). Both are in the top three in rebounds behind Detroit Pistons rookie Ausar Thompson.
Wembanyama plays more at forward than center, where Holmgren spends a lot of his time for OKC. That means there might be limited head-to-head opportunities between them. Still, the two NBA Rookie of the Year candidates will take center stage tonight in this nationally televised game.