Rockets’ Alperen Sengun Says Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama Is ‘Not That Strong Yet’

After the Houston Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs last night (3/5), Alperen Sengun told NBA reporters that Victor Wembanyama is “not that strong yet.”

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, Houston Rockets, Alperen Sengun
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Sengun torched Wembanyama and the Spurs for 45 points in 36 minutes. 

“He’s so tall but he’s not that strong yet,” Sengun said, via CBS Sports. “I was going at his chest and putting him under the rim.”

Sengun finished with 45 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and five steals against the Spurs while shooting 19-of-32 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. The 21-year-old continues to show why he’s one of the rising stars in the NBA. 

“I mean, yeah, of course [I had extra motivation to play Wembanyama],” Sengun said. “I didn’t play that well against him last game I can say. And I didn’t have many double teams, they just left me one-on-one with Wemby. I just did what I do.”

Wembanyama put up 10 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, seven blocks and six turnovers versus the Rockets. He shot 4-of-10 overall and 2-of-5 from 3. 

During an interview with NBA reporter Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Rockets head coach Ime Udoka was asked to talk about Sengun. Udoka has really enjoyed coaching Sengun.

“It’s been great,” Udoka said. “I mean, the scoring piece, I’ve had a ton of big scorers in the past. I worked with Joel (Embiid), obviously, and Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge. I’ve had a lot of low-post scorers that I’ve either coached or played with throughout my career. But the overall game and where you can place him on the court, the only other guy that kind of matches that is Joel. But even with that, Joel is not really the passer that Alperen is — or he wasn’t when I had him, he’s gotten better in that regard.

“But, yeah, he’s very unique and it’s a luxury to have a guy like him you can move all over the court, and do a lot of things with. Once his shooting improves, it will open up the court for him and the team. The thing is (Şengün) understanding and us adjusting to how teams are going after him. He had a hot start, not a lot of post scorers in the league, so teams have been focused on taking him out and making us prove it from 3, to be frank. It’s really about how he adjusts and us putting him in better positions, but also growing and adapting to the success he’s had this year so far.”

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