6 Big takeaways for Victor Wembanyama’s first dozen games as a Spur

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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Takeaway #4: The Spurs should play Wembanyama more at center.

One of the biggest rotation surprises for the Spurs has been that the team is unwilling to experiment with Wembanyama at center. Thus far, he has played just 19% of his minutes at center, according to Basketball Reference. Considering the Spurs are starting Sochan at point guard, there shouldn’t be any hangups about playing Wembanyama more at center.

Sliding him up to the five would allow for another perimeter player to join the lineup, and Popovich could try more of the Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Sochan, and Wembanyama units, which look promising.

That would take the ball out of Sochan’s hands, allowing him to play more off-ball and give the Wembanyama a chance to run pick and roll with a capable playmaker. With Jones playing off the bench, their minutes don’t overlap as much as they should, and we have yet to see how good Wembanyama can be as a pick-and-pop threat or as a roll man who can go up and crush lobs.

With opposing teams likely to play only one traditional big man against Wembanyama, they could have a tough time keeping the Spurs out of the paint while avoiding also giving up open threes from Wemby. With the team’s lack of success playing two big-man lineups, Popovich could and should play Wembanyama at the five more for the rest of the season.