Spurs' season-opening loss was full of one glaring but fixable mistake

Victor Wembanyama displayed generational talent in his NBA debut, but the Spurs made a critical misstep with his usage.

Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Opening night was full of ups, downs, exciting moments, and frustrating plays for the San Antonio Spurs and Victor Wembanyama. The youngsters gave fans plenty of reason to be optimistic about the ensuing season, but the coaching staff must iron out some kinks in the offense to maximize the talent of this team. Pesky foul calls hassled Wemby, relegating him to extended time on the bench, but that was far from the worst part of the game.

The Silver and Black went through numerous offensive stretches without featuring their highly-touted big man on Wednesday night. Dallas owned a middle-of-the-road defense last season, and while they added pieces to assist in that department this summer, the lack of touches for Wemby had less to do with the Mavericks and more to do with his teammates throwing aimless passes and living on a prayer that they would hit their intended target.

Wembanyama needs to be the feature presentation

Wembanyama showed why the Spurs must deliberately feed him the ball when he checked back into the contest in the fourth quarter following early foul trouble. He sparked an exhilarating run from San Antonio that ignited the crowd and re-energized the team, displaying his creative handle, remarkable poise, and elite shot-making with the action reaching its apex.

One of the essential traits of a superstar player is understanding the importance of the moments and opportunities in front of them. Wemby recognized his club was sputtering to a standstill and needed a lift, which he promptly provided. The next developmental step for this group is accepting that the French phenom is the man now and handing him the rock.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the Spurs seemed to forget Wemby was on the court. He doesn't have to take every shot, but his presence demands attention, so ensuring he gets his touches will make things easier for everyone else. If San Antonio hopes to elevate to the elite level of a playoff contender, their pecking order must start with the 7-foot-3 teenager who many regard as the best prospect in team sports history.