Season In Review: Nicolas Batum
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/03/2011 2:43 PM

    During 2011, Nicolas Batum
    Exceeded Expectations (12)
    Met Expectations (20)
    Failed To Meet Expectations (6)

    We're going to start something new this offseason and review each player's season, how they performed, whether they met expectations or not and if you'd like to see them in uniform for the Blazers to start the 2011-12 season. Up next is our favorite Frenchman, Nicolas Batum.

    2011 was supposed to be the year where Nicolas Batum burst out onto the national scene. Trail Blazers fans knew the combination of size, length and basketball IQ at a young age provided them with a future star but his game was slept on by most of the national media and casual fan base. Ever since the 19 year old rookie from France, who looked more than lost during Summer League, stepped in to start 76 games for a 54 win squad, everyone with an allegiance to Rip City was on the bandwagon. His ability to defend anyone from Tony Parker to Dirk Nowitzki had fans thinking Batum could become the next Scottie Pippen. While those are large shoes to fill, Batum continued his progression nicely the following season, despite missing the first 45 games due to a torn labrum. He nearly doubled his points per game (From 5.4 to 10.1) and found a three-point stroke along the way, nailing triples at a .409 clip.  So, it was evident why not only the fans but management was over the moon for Batum, basically declaring him untouchable.

    "That kid, he's 22, and you know, you have to ask, is he untouchable?" Blazers coach Nate McMillan said Thursday. "And yeah, I think he is. That's an organizational decision, but a young talent like that, you can't ... they won't ... we won't (trade Batum)."

    Nicolas Batum Career Stats (Via

    While Nic didn't set the NBA world on fire this past season, there's no need to be down on the 6'8", 200 lb. small forward. Due to countless injuries and a trade deadline acquisition of an all-star caliber player at his same position, Batum bounced in and out of the starting lineup, making it hard to garner any sort of rhythm before eventually settling into a reserve role from mid-March on. Once firmly entrenched as a sixth man, Nico flourished, making April a reminder to not forget about him by averaging 16.5 points per game, the highest amount of any month in his entire career. The major knock on Nico is his inconsistencies. While the minutes stay the same, never dropping below 30 per night in any month, every other stat is bouncing around like a seven year old in a moon bounce. The biggest discrepancies can be seen in his shooting percentages where one month Nic would be a three-point marksmen (46.7% In October) and struggle to keep the defenses honest the next (28% in December).

    Nicolas Batum 2010-11 Season Splits (Via Basketball

    But I digress again, do not worry about Batum. It has nothing to do with a lack of talent. If a player is playing in the NBA, much less 30 minutes a night for a playoff contending team, they have the talent. What separates the good from the great is confidence, something Batum will have to continue working on if he's to reach his ultimate potential. Take LaMarcus Aldridge for example. He too showed sparks of what he was capable of throughout his tenure with the Blazers but just could never put it all together on a consistent basis. But when Roy went out, LA was forced to step up. Aldridge was able to play with more of an attitude, put his nice-guy persona on the sidelines while the ball was in play, demanded the ball and it all came together for the Third-Team All-NBA big.

    Now heading into his fourth season in Portland, Nic is a Senior member of the team (only Aldridge, Roy and Oden have been here longer) and if there is a time for him to be a little more assertive on the court, it is now. After the season had finished, Batum seemed visibly upset and disappointed in his exit interview, wanting to get right back to work on his game. If that video is any indication of his mindset, its safe to say Batum will be back with a vengeance this fall. Finally, do not forget this: Nicolas Batum would just now be completing his Senior season in college if he went that route. Rip City has a three year veteran, with threes years of playoff experience who is a mere 22 years of age. As long as the numbers continue to trend upward and the flashes of brilliance continue with more regularity, the Trail Blazers will be in good hands for the next decade. With that said, enjoy the first of many buzzer beaters to come from Nico.

    Batum's Buzzer Beater

    Let all of that information soak in for a moment Rip City. Looking back, did Batum have the type of year you hoped he would have? Will he reach his potential?
    I am a fan of
  1. Mieke Appel
    Mieke Appel
    Posts: 18

    Posted 06/03/2011 4:31 PM

    If the coach wouldn't keep taking him out when he misses one, maybe he could get some consistency.
    I am a fan of
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 06/04/2011 6:09 AM

    Fail.  Those of you not new to our site know all too well my feelings regarding Nic.  Being a player in this league requires more than good looks and boyish charm (sorry ladies).  As D writes, Nic has been a Blazer nearly as long as anyone else, so when can we expect this "realization of potential"?  I was strongly in favor of moving Nic while his stock was still high.  That didn't happen, and now I fear the rest of the league is catching on and his stock has dropped. 

    Food for thought:  For all of the negative press oft sidelined Blazer center Greg Oden has drawn, HE has been a far more consistent performer while on the hardwood than has Batum...and with limited opportunity.

    For all of the tremendous gifts Nic possesses athletically speaking, he lacks the motor necessary to showcase them at this level and on a consistent basis, period. 
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. Hg
    Posts: 60

    Posted 06/05/2011 5:48 AM

    Anything we get from Batum on offense is gravy. He is still a defensive specialist. Remember Nic was usually on the other teams best shooter most of the time, and teams get vary good at helping and giving their stars great opportunities. Where Nic is a little light to guard a Drik, he still does a good job.

    His shooting inconsistency is a problem, or lack of taking opportunity seems to be the problem. weighing in the fact that if you start showing signs of greatness in the NBA, teams are very good at exposing your weaknesses. Wesley stated that after a terrific start. Armon started out setting the field on fire, but other teams soon learned that he can only go left and he was turn-over prone and took him out of his game. Batum is facing some of the same problems. Staying low profile teams has a tendency to forget him and then he can explode on you. That is why when Wesley is having a great game Nic will have a decent game, when Wesley is having a rotten game Nico will too, because the defene can key on Nic and slack off on Wesley.

    It is just in the line of up and downs of BB. Nico has lots to learn, He will have a great mentor in Wally, if he listens, he can bulk up just a little and become more assertive or aggressive because he is still at a young age. He can live up to my expectations, because I am expecting and accepting the fact that the NBA continues to change and everybody needs to change at the same rate. Nic is coming along just fine.


    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 06/05/2011 4:24 PM

    He's bigger, he's faster, he's stronger. His court awareness is improving. His shooting is improving. What in the world would people be thinking by knocking Batum's game? Other then Isaac & Big Suke hopped up on Mt. Dew and the NFL draft, trying what they can to get a few more callers, by suggesting Nicolas will never be a star player. I trust Merlin's fortune telling more then I do those guys. 
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 06/05/2011 5:32 PM

    Nic Batum is Shane Battier with a lot more mileage left. He can defend the best. He'll probably never be a prolific scorer. He had that huge game-winning alley-oop against San Antonio. He hit some tres and turn-around elbow jumpers, a couple base-line dunks. You get the picture. I didn't see a lot from him that showed tons of improvement from last season. I still want to say I liked what I saw from him this year, but when I think about it I start to wonder if he offers anything that couldn't be picked up by the other players on the team. Wesley can defend the perimeter nearly as well. After seeing what Wallace (and surprisingly Chris Johnson) added in terms of length and quickness, I think we need more versatility and Nic is not that. In other words, his strengths are not unique on this team, and are certainly not at star levels. Based on his contributions this year, I say trade him to a team that needs a defender and a decent shooter so that we can get something that we need (e.g., a PG or a Center).
    I am a fan of
  1. stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 06/06/2011 1:27 PM

    i say give him a year under wallace's tootaledge. near the end of the season i saw a little more aggression driving to the hole. if he can learn how to post up and not do taht ugly turn around J he takes from the post, and can add a little authority to his drive I want him on the team.
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 06/06/2011 2:07 PM

    I had extraordinary expectations for Frenchy this season. I, too, bought into the Pippen hype, whether that was my fault or not, I thought he'd be more of an offensive threat this year. I mean, it's not like the chances weren't there. B-Roy wasn't there half the time and we didn't get Crash until late February, so I had hoped he would be close to a 20ppg scorer. He has all the physical tools but when will it all come together for Nic?
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. BlazerBear
    Posts: 97

    Posted 06/06/2011 2:51 PM

    I think some people are being a little hard on my boy Batum! He's only 22 years old! Scottie wasn't even in the league at that age. I think if Nate would just run more plays for him other than isolating him in the corner, waiting for a catch and shoot opportunity, he would dominate. If we dealt him, this would be Jermaine O'Neal 2.0 all over again, Book it.
    I am a fan of J.J. Hickson Making SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays On A Nightly Basis!
  1. Finn Harrity
    Finn Harrity
    Posts: 2

    Posted 06/06/2011 3:09 PM

    i love batum but i expected him to average 15-20 ppg and andre to have less points and more assists not 12 ppg in the regular season thats what he averaged in the games he played last year and he only averaged 8 ppg during the playoffs and went down 3 rebounds its not what i had hoped for or expected so in my opinion he failed expectations.

    i expected the defence just the offence was worse... he needs to develop but wont when we have another #1 option
    I am a fan of trading nicolas batum to get cleavlends #1 pick
  1. stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 06/07/2011 7:31 AM

    he was averaging 16ppg the last month of the season, his numbers went up all year. he seems to thrive coming off the bench. i think batum roy patty and chris johnson will be a nasty 2nd unit resign pendergraph and we got high energy combine with a proven scorer in roy. johnson will be at the hole to swat people when they blow by roy
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