caseyholdahl

Mar 14

Nicolas Batum's Memory Is As Long As His Arms

By caseyholdahl Posted in: Blazers, Raptors, NicolasBatum
The Rose Garden crowd gave Hedo Turkoglu a hard time every time he touched the ball. From the introductions right on through the final buzzer, the Rose Garden faithful gave Hedo an earful for spurning the Trail Blazers this summer in free agency. Looking back, it seems like everything happened for the best, but the home crowd wasn’t having any of that.

Neither was Nicolas Batum. In theory, Turkolu would have taken Batum’s spot in the Trail Blazers rotation at small forward were it not for the Turkmens’ preference of the more worldly Toronto. So when Batum went out and put up 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, one might have thought the Frenchman wanted to show the front office and fans that he was and is the better option as Portland’s small forward. But it turns out that, while Batum did have Hedo on his mind, it wasn’t for the reasons previously mentioned. It goes back farther than that.

It was November 10, 2008, Batum’s seventh game in the NBA. The Trail Blazers were taking on the Magic in Orlando. Portland ended up winning the game 106-99 thanks in part to a 27-point night from Brandon Roy. But even though the Blazers got the win, Batum felt like Turkolgu, who scored 35 points in 42 minutes, got the best of him. For Batum, a player who relishes the task of shutting down opposing players on the offensive end, this was unacceptable.

“I got something special with Hedo because that’s the first guy who kicked my ass last year,” said Batum. “You can’t do that again. I play against him in the summer too, France and Turkey. Boris (Diaw) wants to guard him, I say ‘No no, I got it. I got it.’”

Batum most definitely got it tonight. Turkoglu ended up with a decent night’s work, scoring 14 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, but he was thoroughly outplayed by the guy who might have very well have been his backup this season.  

4 Comments

  1. Batman over Turk any day of the week.

    We have our team and I have no regrets

    hg

    by Hg on 3/15/2010 1:42 AM
  2. Thanks to him, Batum kept his spot AND we got Andre Miller. I would say the Raptors got the short end of the stick. Dre has been clutch all season making things happen and continuing to get better as the season goes on. Words cannot even begin to describe Batum's performance since he came back from his surgery. Not only do we have his defensive awesomeness back but we also have his ever improving offense. These two guys are great guys and players.

    I too would pick Batum over Turk any day.

    by cstreet on 3/15/2010 6:50 AM
  3. Batum!!! We in Portland are so proud of you!!...Keep it up Frenchman :)

    by whitefeather on 3/16/2010 2:18 AM
  4. I like the attitude our younger players, like Batum and Bayless, have. They are all guts-no glory type of guys who relish a challenge and always rise to the occasion.

    by DHawes22 on 3/16/2010 1:13 PM
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