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NBA

Doncic shines on Wembanyama’s debut in NBA

Victor Wembanyama made his debut in NBA with the Spurs, but Doncic and the Mavericks came out on the winning side.

Update:
Victor Wembanyama made his debut in NBA with the Spurs, but Doncic and the Mavericks came out on the winning side.
Victor Wembanyama made his debut in NBA with the Spurs, but Doncic and the Mavericks came out on the winning side.CHANDAN KHANNAAFP

The highly-anticipated debut of Victor Wembanyama was put to one side after a solid performance from the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic, who won 119-126 on the night against the San Antonio Spurs.

Last night was the official welcome of a Frenchman who many suspect may dominate the scene for the next ten to twenty years. His name is Victor Wembanyama, surely you have heard of him: a 224cm tall man who can raise his arms to heights nobody else can before slipping the ball through his legs in the lead up to scoring from way behind the 3-point line.

The number 1 draft pick will be under the orders of Gregg Popovich in San Antonio in order to achieve his full potential, but some welcomes are tough, especially at the highest level of the game. Whatever your name is, however tall you are, it doesn’t guarantee you win in elite sport.

Dallas Mavericks’ plan worked to perfection

The Mavericks set up to win the game by pressuring the young star from Le Chesnay in order to force mistakes from the beginning. And it worked. His game ended up being silenced after being pressed and pushed through the Kidd meat grinder, squashed and suppressed, making his chances to get the win on such a highly anticipated day in NBA almost nil.

Doncic lead the Dallas side with a triple-double (33 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists), and it was a last-minute decision as to whether or not he was able to play. Problems in his left leg from preseason meant that a choice had to be made: play and stop the new kid or risk missing out on his quality. Despite being tired - something he openly admitted to on TV - it did not stop Doncic from doing his thing, that Doncic thing, winning the game. Just what Wemby would’ve liked to do, driving his team onto the victory.

Doncic shines on Wembanyama’s debut in NBA

A lack of confidence from Wemby?

The Spurs looked dangerous in attack and in a horrendous end to the game they saw chances go begging, not taking advantage of the momentary opportunity to strike. The losing side kept up the level for the entire match, even covering the gap that the man made in Nanterre, Lyon and Paris had left, but a cooler head was missing in the decisive moments of the tie.

The pivot was in the starting side and formed a pair with Zach Collins, taking on the weight of the attack at the beginning, but the Mavs bore through him. But 15 points, together with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, two steals and a block in just 23 minutes of play, that was the key. The most promising rookie since LeBron James looked nervous and lacking in confidence given the huge sense of anticipation and pressure on his albeit very tall shoulders meaning the visitors to the Frost Bank Center were left a little, ahem, cold after seeing the result. The Mavericks were cunning, quick in their decisions and correct at all times, taking advantage of the smell of blood to get their first win of the season away from home.

Stats
26
Dominick Barlow
28
Charles Bassey
22
Malaki Branham
30
Julian Champagnie
23
Zach Collins
4
Devonte' Graham
3
Keldon Johnson
33
Tre Jones
54
Sandro Mamukelashvili
17
Doug McDermott
16
Cedi Osman
10
Jeremy Sochan
24
Devin Vassell
1
Victor Wembanyama
14
Blake Wesley
Stats
Min Pts TR OR DR Ast Los Rec Blk S1 S2 S3 RF CF Val
26
Dominick Barlow
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
28
Charles Bassey
13 2 5 1 4 2 1 1 0 0/0 1/1 0/0 0 0 0
22
Malaki Branham
17 7 2 0 2 2 1 1 0 1/1 3/4 0/3 0 1 0
30
Julian Champagnie
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
23
Zach Collins
31 14 5 1 4 3 3 1 2 2/2 6/6 0/4 0 4 0
4
Devonte' Graham
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
3
Keldon Johnson
31 17 9 2 7 7 3 0 0 2/3 6/12 1/3 0 4 0
33
Tre Jones
25 16 5 1 4 6 1 0 0 4/4 3/4 2/3 0 0 0
54
Sandro Mamukelashvili
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
17
Doug McDermott
10 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/1 0 1 0
16
Cedi Osman
22 12 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0/0 3/4 2/6 0 2 0
10
Jeremy Sochan
28 13 8 3 5 5 3 1 0 3/6 2/8 2/4 0 4 0
24
Devin Vassell
35 23 5 1 4 3 2 2 0 4/5 8/11 1/6 0 2 0
1
Victor Wembanyama
23 15 5 0 5 2 5 2 1 0/1 3/4 3/5 0 5 0
14
Blake Wesley
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
Stats
30
Seth Curry
77
Luka Doncic
0
Dante Exum
8
Josh Green
10
Tim Hardaway Jr.
1
Jaden Hardy
20
Richaun Holmes
11
Kyrie Irving
55
Derrick Jones Jr.
42
Maxi Kleber
2
Dereck Lively II
88
Markieff Morris
7
Dwight Powell
18
Olivier-Maxence Prosper
3
Grant Williams
Stats
Min Pts TR OR DR Ast Los Rec Blk S1 S2 S3 RF CF Val
30
Seth Curry
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
77
Luka Doncic
34 33 13 1 12 10 4 2 0 4/7 10/14 3/11 0 1 0
0
Dante Exum
7 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/1 0 1 0
8
Josh Green
29 11 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 3/4 1/3 2/2 0 4 0
10
Tim Hardaway Jr.
27 17 6 2 4 4 1 1 0 4/4 2/4 3/10 0 0 0
1
Jaden Hardy
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
20
Richaun Holmes
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
11
Kyrie Irving
36 22 2 0 2 6 2 1 0 1/1 9/16 1/8 0 3 0
55
Derrick Jones Jr.
11 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1/2 0/1 0/2 0 0 0
42
Maxi Kleber
23 6 7 2 5 2 0 0 1 0/0 0/2 2/5 0 3 0
2
Dereck Lively II
30 16 10 5 5 1 1 1 1 2/3 7/8 0/0 0 4 0
88
Markieff Morris
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
7
Dwight Powell
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
18
Olivier-Maxence Prosper
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0
3
Grant Williams
35 17 6 1 5 0 3 0 1 1/1 2/3 4/8 0 4 0