caseyholdahl

Sep 27

Nicolas Batum Is Happy To Have Help

By caseyholdahl Posted in: NicolasBatum, 2010trainingcamp
NBA players may love to compete, but most don't enjoy having to fight for playing time. If given their druthers, just about every player in the Association would much rather go into the season knowing who, if anyone, is above them on the depth chart rather than having to go to battle with their teammates for minutes.

A few months ago, Nicolas Batum could have reasonably assumed that he won't have to worry about getting minutes. After Martell Webster was traded, it seemed like a lock that Batum would get the bulk of the playing time at the wing without much competition. Good news for Nic. But then the team goes out and acquires Wesley Matthews, a player whose ability to defend the opposing team's best wing player and shoot the open three coincide with Batum's foremost skills. Bad news for Nic, right?

No way, at least according to Batum. The third-year small forward from France says that, after seeing the way Matthews played as an undrafted rookie, he's more than happy to share duties.

"I'm glad to have him here, really," said Batum. "Honestly, playing against him last year, he did great job. When we signed him I was very happy. People start to think it's going to be competition with him like Martell last year, but I don't think so."

With Matthews on the roster, the Trail Blazers now have the ability to throw two elite defenders at the best wings in the NBA, which will help the team achieve what Batum says should be the ultimate goal: winning games.

"I saw him in the playoffs last year," said Batum. "He did a great job on Kobe (Bryant) and Carmelo (Anthony). I think we have the same desire. We want to win. We can combine our games and be together on the court. I've very glad to have him."

10 Comments

  1. I like this!

    by Richard Ackerman on 9/27/2010 5:30 PM
  2. Both Brandon and Nic will need a solid backup. I see Matthews getting time at both spots...plenty of minutes to go around for those 3. I expect Babbit to backup Batum a bit too. The guy who gets left out of all this is Rudy Fernandez.

    Nic's poised for a breakout year this season.

    by dunkonyerhed on 9/27/2010 7:08 PM
  3. Dont rule out Cunningham getting a few minutes at the forward spots.

    by commontongue on 9/27/2010 9:24 PM
  4. I have already posted many times that BRoy at PG, Batum at 2nd GD, Wesley at the three and Dante at the four and Camby at the five until Greg comes back for a big defensive unit. That would also give them enough fire power to score, enough rebounds and fast breaks with Nic and Wesley. In fact I am not sure that wouldn't be a good starting unit. just put LMA in in place of Dante and that would be one heck of a unit.

    by Hg on 9/27/2010 9:38 PM
  5. I like that HG, though I think Wesley is better suited to play the SG in that situation with Nic at his natural SF position. I think you'd want LMA in there all the time, especially late in games. Dante isn't there, yet.

    by caseyholdahl on 9/28/2010 8:18 AM
  6. Casey:

    I asked that question on BE, and it was pointed out to me that although Batum is taller, Matthews is meatier and can guard big SF better, and also Nic got experience playing shooting guard in the worlds and has guarded PG before taking pressure off BRoy and help bringing the ball up the court. I do not know if Matthews has good handles or not.

    Question to you: Can't all three of them create shots for themselves?

    hg

    by Hg on 9/28/2010 10:16 AM
  7. PS:
    My ariginal defensive line-up for the ends of games was Camby at the four and Greg at the five for rebounding.

    Hg

    by Hg on 9/28/2010 10:18 AM
  8. I love Nicolas Batum. Both of these guys are completely committed to winning, that's what they want more than anything else. I think hg's lineup will make an appearance, depending on the match-ups of course, as will who plays the 2 and 3. It's great to have this kind of defensive presence...finally!

    by EowynAmarie on 9/28/2010 11:49 AM
  9. Eowyn Amarie:

    I thank you for your input, you are right it depends on who our opponents is that night of who plays the 2 and the 3. My biggest point was seeing them on the court at the same time.

    Last year Dante said him and Nic had a great feel for each other. He also said they could spread their wings, touch fingers and reach both sides of the key. I don't know if that is a feat or not but that is quite a wing span.

    Thanks again

    Hg

    by Hg on 9/28/2010 3:00 PM
  10. I think Wesley is going to make our bench so much better than last year. Also he can backup Roy and Batum so hopefully Nic gets more minutes than last year and Wes gets enough to be happy. I don't like Brandon at PG as much as everyone else though. Sometimes it's alright, but I like Dre there much better.

    by I''m OUT! on 10/1/2010 10:34 PM
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