Assessing Victor Wembanyama in the Metropolitans 92-Le Portel Game

October 2nd, 2022

By Alan Lu

Metropolitans 92’s 7-4 center, Victor Wembanyama is currently the favorite to be the first overall pick for the 2023 draft, and recently, he turned in a strong performance in his team’s September 30th win over Le Portel in the French League.  I decided to watch him play in that game, with thanks to YouTube via The DraftMatic.  He played very well, and helped his team get the victory.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how he currently stacks up as a prospect for the NBA. Also, for those that are interested in the box score, here is the link.

Metropolitans 92’s 7-4 center, Victor Wembanyama scored 19 points to help get his team the win over Le Portel on September 30th.
(Photo:
Guillaume Talbot/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Victor Wembanyama put forth a tremendous showing to help get his team the win in this game.  He is a very tall, skilled center that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he played very well on both ends of the floor.

Wembanyama showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He would run the floor to get the ball on the break, which enabled him to score on thunderous dunks.  He also managed to score on an athletic tip slam off of an offensive rebound, as well as a magnetic jam off of a backdoor cut.

He also shot the ball very well to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He did a great job of making smooth, spot-up threes off the catch.  On one play, he moved back to get the ball and utilized a jab step prior to making the three-point shot.  He also used a pump fake and dribbled to draw a foul, and while he didn’t get continuation, he would’ve scored on a pull-up, mid-range jumper from the baseline if they had allowed that shot to count. 

He also showcased adequate low post scoring skills.  Wembanyama was able to use a quick spin move to score from the baseline.  He also caught a lob to score on a powerful, one-handed alley-oop dunk.  He also would draw contact on post plays, though he had trouble drawing foul calls in this game.  On the downside, he would tend to take tough, off-balanced fadeaway jumpers, and he would struggle to get deep position and would go away from the contact, which would lead him to miss shots.

Also, Wembanyama displayed solid playmaking skills in this game.  He did a great job of passing and handling the ball, and he especially thrived as a playmaker on the break.  He was able to push the ball quickly off of a steal and then threw a quick outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  He also was able to throw a very long outlet pass to rack up another assist.  Wembanyama really excelled at throwing crisp, accurate interior passes, and he displayed good ball-handling skills and strong court vision.  He also managed to set an on-ball screen to help get a teammate an open jump shot.  On one play when setting another on-ball screen, he ended up tripping a defender, which led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

In addition, Wembanyama showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.  He has great size and a very long reach, which enabled him to get a handful of offensive rebounds.  He didn’t seem to get as many defensive boards, but his tremendous reach enabled him to get a couple of them, and he also would tip balls to help his teammates get defensive boards.

Also, Wembanyama defended well in this game.  He did a great job of blocking shots due to possessing great length, timing, and instincts.  He was able to block a shot hard out of bounds when defending in the post, and he also rotated swiftly to swat a corner three, as he covered a lot of ground to do so.  He was able to rotate to poke a ball away to help his team get a steal, and he also intercepted a pass to get another.  He also would jump on loose balls to help his team get additional steals.  He also would use his length to contest shots and disrupt passing lanes, which would enable him to force misses and passing turnovers.  On the downside, he would sometimes be caught ball watching and over-help in the paint, which would lead him to be late to contest shots or jumpers. 

In general, Victor Wembanyama had a terrific showing in this game, and he is a very tall, athletic center that played superbly on both ends of the floor.  He dominated from start to finish, and showed why he is considered to be the favorite to be the top pick of the 2023 draft.  He played really well in this game, and if he continues to play well, he could develop into being a superstar in the NBA.

Other Notes:

There were also a couple of other prospects that played well in this game, and Armel Traore and Nadir Hifi turned in solid performances to help their respective teams in this contest.

Metropolitans 92’s 6-8 forward, Armel Traore also had a solid showing to help get his team the win.  He is an athletic, skilled forward that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also defended well when he was on the court.

Traore shot the ball very well from beyond the arc.  He did a very good job of knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to make one from well beyond the arc.  He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He would run the floor to score on high-flying dunks and layups, and he also caught a lob to score on an alley-oop dunk off of a backdoor cut.

On the downside, he struggled to consistently score from the post.  He would take tough, off-balanced jumpers that would lead to misses, although he appeared to get bumped on one play that arguably should’ve netted him a foul call late in this match.

Also, Traore showcased adequate playmaking skills.  He did a good job of making passes on the break to get the ball to his teammates, and he also can pass out of the post.  He ran the floor to get the ball once, and he threw a quick touch pass across the paint to notch an assist.  On one play though when posting up, he dribbled but then threw a bad pass back that got intercepted by a defender.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Traore showed a knack for hauling in boards on both ends of the floor, and he also would get his hands on balls to help his team get defensive boards.  On one play though, he didn’t quite box out his man, and he allowed him to get an offensive rebound over him.  Traore also played adequate defense.  He was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive to a teammate.  He also managed to aggressively defend an opposing ball handler up the court and cut off penetration to force his opponent to pass the basketball.  He also would use his length to help force passing turnovers.  On the downside, he would tend to give up deep position when defending in the post, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble when defending in one-on-one situations, and he would sometimes take bad angles when guarding his man.

In summary, Armel Traore played well in this game, and he did a good job of making plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He is an athletic, skilled forward that can score and defend, and if he can continue to shoot well, he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Le Portel’s 6-2 point guard, Nadir Hifi also played well in his team’s tough loss to Metropolitans 92.  He is a tough, mobile playmaker that excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, and he is an aggressive, downhill driver that would often draw free throws to help his team score the basketball.

Hifi showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He was able to score on a strong left-handed drive to the hoop, high off the glass.  Hifi is a foul drawing expert that showed a knack for contorting his body and driving into the contact in such ways that would often enable him to draw fouls to frequently get to the free throw line.  There was one play where he flailed and didn’t get a foul call, which led his shot to be blocked hard out of bounds that time.

Also, Hifi shot the ball well in this game.  He was able to utilize a crafty pump fake to score on a smooth, step-back three, and he showed very good footwork and shooting touch that time.  He also would hustle to go for offensive boards, but he also missed on a wild, off-balanced tip-in once due to rushing.

As a playmaker, he looked to be about average at best.  Hifi is a playmaking combo guard that can control tempo, and he would kick balls out to shooters to get them the basketball.  However, he also was fairly turnover prone in this game.  On one play when driving to the hoop, he was called for a carrying violation due to improper ball-handling.  He also threw a catchable inbounds pass that was dropped out of bounds by his teammate.

Hifi did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to chase down balls to get multiple offensive boards, and he also pushed the pace off of a defensive board another time.  Defensively though, he struggled in this game.  For the positives, he is an aggressive, active defender that will give solid effort on that side of the ball. However, he would tend to get beat off the dribble when defending out on the perimeter, which would lead the opposing ball handler to get a step on him to throw a pass that would set up dunks for the opposition.  Hifi also committed a reach-in foul when trying to double and steal a ball away from an opposing ball-handler due to over-aggressiveness.  Another time, he was caught ball watching and sagged too far off of a shooter, which led him to give up an open three-point basket.

Overall, Nadir Hifi had a solid showing in this game, and he is a scoring combo guard that can put up points on the board.  On the downside, he will need to take better care of the basketball, and he will also need to improve his defense.  Right now, he is probably a long shot to be drafted, but if he does make his way to the NBA, he will have to trust his outside shot more and take better care of the basketball to improve his odds to make it to the league someday.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on how Wembanyama and other various prospects played in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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