Blog: Batum: 'McMillan wants me to be the best perimeter defender in the NBA'
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/15/2010 11:14 AM

    From OregonLive-
    After the playoffs which I spoke about earlier, I had my exit meetings with Nate McMillan and Kevin Pritchard where they told me that I could go to the world championships (to play for France). They also told me that Webster is recovered and ready for next season. Nate McMillan told me, “I’ve just come from meeting with Martell, and he wants his starting spot back next year, so now it’s your spot to lose.” He told me in any case that I had surpassed all of his expectations once again this year. He said, “Each year, you have done more than what is expected, so next year it’s on you to be even better.” So, coach is setting the bar high, but that’s how we progress!

    This summer, they want me to work on my shot and my post-up game. In fact, the star point guards in the league like (Steve) Nash and (Chris) Paul are often defending against me because teams don’t consider me too much of an aggressive scorer in their eyes, so the coaches told me “next year, we won’t let that go. As soon as a point guard is on you, you’re going to post up on them directly.” They want to transform me into a player like Tayshaun Prince little by little. Besides, if you take out Greg Oden, who really didn’t play that many games this past year, I was the 4th best shooter on the team. And so, next year they will be designing a few plays for me, and as soon as I have a smaller player guarding me, they will go directly to me in the post because that’s what I’ll be working on this summer. And about my shooting, I going to have to work more on shooting off of the dribble and shooting when coming off of screens.

    At the exit meeting, they also wanted to tell me that they want me to be a 1st-team all-defense next year, one of the NBA’s top 5. They want me to be the best perimeter defender in the league, while also being a dangerous player on offense. They told me that there are not many players in the league that can succeed on both ends of the floor, but I have to be there. They said, “All of the teams who have been champions had one player like that, so if you become this player, we will be champions.”
    I like that Coach is putting the pressure on Batum to be better than average, but to be great. And he has the talent to do so as well! Get that shoulder healed up and gain a little bit of muscle and I don't think there's anything that'll stop him from accomplishing that goal! Do you think he can be the top perimeter defender in the game? I do.
    I am a fan of
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 06/15/2010 12:57 PM

    Nic can do it, he is already so close.  Nice to see Nate admit we need to use him more on offense.  If Nate can loosen his rotation pattern (a little )  stick with the hot hand, and not be a Roy centered offense we might not be so easy to defend against in the future.
     I would like to see Martell wrap his head around coming off the bench and knocking down shots, but I guess competition makes them play better...
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. RipCityRevival
    Posts: 684

    Posted 06/15/2010 8:34 PM

    Yeah, I actually think he is a lot closer than he got credit for this last year. I really feel that the likes of Kobe Bryant and company were overrates as perimeter defenders due to the markets they play for. I'm used to it, but it doesn't make it right. I hope he does exactly what the coaches told him to do. It will really open up the offense and add that complexity all the critics have said has been lacking.
    I am a fan of Good basketball, great fans and Rip City!
  1. Bertram
    Posts: 803

    Posted 06/15/2010 8:58 PM

    He can do it. I like what Nate did in putting pressure on both martel and batum to improve on both their games this summer to compete for that starting spot.
    I am a fan of B-Roy and LaMonster!
  1. shuttlesworth
    Posts: 23

    Posted 06/16/2010 2:31 PM

    he can! last season he was definetly one of the most underrated defensive-players in the league. nice to see nate is forcing him to become better and better...he is still growing..
    I am a fan of this awesome development during the last years !!! GO BLAZERS !!!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 06/16/2010 4:13 PM

    With Shane Battier and Ron Artest on the decline, the time is now for Batum to make his move towards the best of the best. Hopefully, the officials will give him the same respect they do the others and let him get a little bit more physical. All Nico needs to do is bulk up a bit and study, study, study. I want him to know what his man is going to do before his man knows what he's going to do!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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