WHERE DID BATUM GO? - THE SAGA CONTINUES
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  1. BlazerManiac
    BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 12/06/2012 6:57 AM

    I know I am going to get persecuted for bring this up again, but Mr. Inconsistency showed up again.  Other posts say he tweaked his back.  Well how does that explain 2 for 8 shooting, five points, and Paul George owning him last night before he “tweaked his back”.

    I do not get it, I am tired of waiting for his potential to happen.  On another Blog BDAWG made a great analysis, under Nate’s coaching he averaged about 31 minutes a game and scoring 14 points a game.  This year he is playing 38 minutes per game and scoring an eye opening 17 Points per game.  Oh and he has an increase of 1.4 Rebounds Per game not bad for an additional 7 minutes.

    So let’s calculate this; Last year, Batum’s salary was $2,155,365 and this year it is $11,950,000.  So what this means is that we are paying Batum $3,264,878 per point of increased production. 

    He has 25% more playing time and his production has gone up, guess what 25%.

    Conclusion – We have the same Batum as last year.  Same Scoring; Same Rebounds; Same inconsistency.

     People are claiming to trade LA, I say trade Batum unless he improves his game dramatically and plays every night like it is game 7 of the NBA Finals.  If he can give 9 out of ten games living up the expectations of the Batum Lover’s,  then I and most likely other Batum Skeptics will give him the respect that others on this board want him to have.

    Again, I do not hate Batum, but I am tired of waiting for him to live up to his potential and disappearing.

    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. BDawg
    BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 12/06/2012 9:45 AM

    Regression is potential's assassin. Nic has regressed. Once labeled this team's "lock down" defender and a player consistently placed on the opposition's best player, Batum is now simply an average defender on one of (if not THE) worst defensive teams in the league. What happened? Since the bulk of defense is effort, this is troubling. The run down blocks from behind are nice, however I would readily trade those one or maybe two take-a-ways a game for not taking the other 50+ possessions off, in the halfcourt.

    Maniac...the summation of your thread is same Batum...for 10 mil/yr more. With nearly a quarter of this season behind us, I believe we have enough of a sample size to at least be aware and concerned. I personally, am a little beyond that because Nico hasn't shown me anything in his three years prior to this season that would reasonably suggest he make good on his contract at some point in the future. Again, equally disturbing for me with regard to Nic's stagnant development offensively speaking, is his notable regression at the defensive end of the floor.
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. Curvychloe
    Curvychloe
    Posts: 610

    Posted 12/06/2012 11:49 AM

    I think Batum is great,but he just needs to develop his offensive game,he's basically just all 3's,no dribble drives,no slashes,no post up game,even a nice little Alex English Midrange game would be nice,or some Adrian Dantley foul drawing moves to get to the line,but Nothing,unless he hits 3's or the Blazers get on the break he's offensively useless and I don't understand why he doesn't work on his game?
    I am a fan of Sexy Blondes at courtside
  1. riverman
    riverman
    Posts: 1431

    Posted 12/06/2012 12:15 PM

    Last couple of games I've noticed very little ball movement in our motion offense. Lillard and Hickson are both guilty of not passing out when wings have open shots or lanes..Both are great players but they are not moving the ball to the open man when they can take risky shots themselves. Sometimes it pays off but Batum is not going to slash to the rim if Damien is shooting jumpers early in the game that don't fall or JJ is bricking offensive putbacks instead of passing out to wes or nic on the wing. It's also not easy for our wings to slash and score if our bigs don't set screens. Hopefully film and practice will make these adjustments.
    I am a fan of A team that plays like Tower of Power on a big stage on a good night
  1. schwabbii
    schwabbii
    Posts: 205

    Posted 12/06/2012 10:41 PM

    First off, once again, Batum is the topic of discussion and for some reason he gets his own personal thread to be critiqued. You know how I feel about it all but its whatever. Second, you are trying to say that we paid $12 million dollars for very little improvement, yet how much talent do you really think a team will get if they are paying a player a bit over two million? Luke Babbitt barely makes under $2 million a year. If I may quote Dime Magazine and their critique of the Batum contract:

    "Batum is owed more than $46 million through 2016 on his current deal. That seems like a lot of money for a cat who wasn’t even a full-time starter last year while averaging 13.9 points a night (and a guy who also has issues with punching people in the nuts). But in reality, it’s slightly more than an average-level contract for a starter, and that’s what Batum is."


    Expect all that you want but all of this Batum bashing does nothing. Where was this when Batum had a total of 5 blocks and helped win the game for the blazers? What about when he put up the game winning three? Yes he is inconsistent with his scoring and doesn't live up to the expectations of the fans but does anybody on this team? The day when BlazerManiac posts a thread critiquing another player is the day I will know the sky is falling. As for the whole trading Batum instead of LA idea, I highly disagree. The point of trading LA would be to gain a player who plays better defense and who will give us a better chance at being a winning team. LA gets us more in return while opening time up for JJ at the 4.

    I am a fan of
  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/06/2012 10:42 PM

    Posted By BlazerManiac on 12/06/2012 6:57 AM

    I know I am going to get persecuted for bring this up again, but Mr. Inconsistency showed up again.  Other posts say he tweaked his back.  Well how does that explain 2 for 8 shooting, five points, and Paul George owning him last night before he “tweaked his back”.

    I do not get it, I am tired of waiting for his potential to happen.  On another Blog BDAWG made a great analysis, under Nate’s coaching he averaged about 31 minutes a game and scoring 14 points a game.  This year he is playing 38 minutes per game and scoring an eye opening 17 Points per game.  Oh and he has an increase of 1.4 Rebounds Per game not bad for an additional 7 minutes.

    So let’s calculate this; Last year, Batum’s salary was $2,155,365 and this year it is $11,950,000.  So what this means is that we are paying Batum $3,264,878 per point of increased production. 

    He has 25% more playing time and his production has gone up, guess what 25%.

    Conclusion – We have the same Batum as last year.  Same Scoring; Same Rebounds; Same inconsistency.

    I wouldn't call it persecution, but your conclusion is based on false assumptions and poor logic, as is your calculation of what Batum is currently worth.

    Batum's first 19 games last season:  14 MPG  4 RPG  .95 APG  1 TOPG .63 SPG  .84 BPG  1.7 PFPG  11 PPG

    This is great value for 2.1 mil a year.  It's is also a rookie contract.

     

    If you take the last 19 games of the year, Batum missed 5 of them and the Blazers lost each of those.  Portland went 6-13 to end the season. 

    Batum's new contract was his first since his rookie.  This bears repeating because this is a fundimental flaw with your conclusion.  His new contract was primarily based on last year's production and on his potention to improve those stats in a new system with more minutes.

    Last 19 games of last season:  33.5 MPG  5 .5 RPG  2.07 APG  1.07 BPG  1 SPG  1.5 PFPG  1.28 TOPG  14 PPG

    Batum in 19 games this season:  38.47 MPG 6 RPG 3.21 APG  1.05 BPG   1.68 SPG 1.78 PFPG  2.47 TOPG 16.95 PPG

    Minutes up, rebounds up, assists up, steals up, points up.  It is a false assumption that someone will improve their stats with more minutes, yet Batum has done exactly that.  Lets not ignore who he's playing with either:  LA, Lillard, Matthews, Hickson.  Both LA and Lillard are both taking more shots and thus, scoring more points... wes isnt far behind.

     

    As I mentioned in another thread:

    Batum is 5th in NBA in Blocks for all non PF/Cs

    Tied for 3rd in the NBA in 3PM

    9th in the NBA in steals (behind Matthews at 8th)

    10th in Yahoo! Fantasy Ranking

    8th in ESPN Fantasy Ranking

    65th in Hollinger PER  (Player Efficiency Rating)

    18th in Hollinger VA (value added)

     

    Is Batum worth $11,950,000?  ABSOLUTELY.  Are you kidding me?  And the above stats don't account for how he has CONSISTANTLY come up with CLUTCH steals, blocks, and 2 game winning shots in Cleveland (1 being .01 sec too slow).  Feel free to nit pick his consistancy after 19 games though, and I await your analysis of our bench with great eagerness.

     

  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/06/2012 10:46 PM

    CORRECTION:  Both LA and Lillard are both taking more shots and scoring more points... wes isnt far behind.
  1. BlazerManiac
    BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 12/07/2012 5:51 AM

    As I said, I knew I was going to get reamed by the Batum Lovers. I have said it all along I do not hate Batum, but as BDAWG and others have said, it is time for him to show up and play 90% of the time.  I would be happy with 80% of the time.

    But as BDAWG said previously on this post,

    Maniac...the summation of your thread is same Batum...for 10 mil/yr more. With nearly a quarter of this season behind us, I believe we have enough of a sample size to at least be aware and concerned. I personally, am a little beyond that because Nico hasn't shown me anything in his three years prior to this season that would reasonably suggest he make good on his contract at some point in the future. Again, equally disturbing for me with regard to Nic's stagnant development offensively speaking, is his notable regression at the defensive end of the floor."

     

    I could have not said it better my question to those of you wearing the Batum Rose Colored Sun Glasses,

    How long are we suppose to wait for all of that potential to show up?

    Potential does not contribute helping a team Win in the NBA.

     

     

    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. Siccolo
    Siccolo
    Posts: 1250

    Posted 12/07/2012 11:02 AM

    Batum has been tearing it up this season. He has only had what, 5 bad games.  Most of those games he aws sick! Never see you say something good about the guy. Not many people can do what Nic does all 82 games. Everyone has bad games.

    No way we should trade LA or NIc

    I am a fan of This Quote "One Love. One Heart. One Human race."
  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/07/2012 1:46 PM

    That's just it.  Batum haters live in a bubble.  The "why can't we win a championship now so I can wear my Blazer gear more often" fan.  The "If we aren't winning a championship today, we need to trade everyone that has any value" fan.

     

    I don't "love" Batum.  That's a niffty defense mechanism Haters toss out to anyone that provides anything possitive about Batum to cope with the congnative dissonance they experience when exposed to his actual numbers and production; to speak nothing of his clutch blocks, steals, and BUCK3TS.  I do however think he is worth every penny of his contract, based on his current production after 19 games.  Haters are gonna hate, and facts be damned that get in the way of that belief. 

  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/07/2012 2:02 PM

    Prime example.. Batum's "notable regression at the defensive end of the floor."  Based on what?  Notable by virtue of the opinion of a Hater who lives in a Bubble?  ya

    Notable by a decrease in steals, blocks, and defensive rebounds?  Not so much.

    Last year: 0.966 SPG 1.01 BLKPG  3.22 DefRPG

    This year:  1.684 SPG 1.05 BLKPG  4.47 DefRPG

    Provide something other than opinion that Batum has regressed.  Show me that opponents are scoreing more.  Do so without ignoring sickness or injury, or logging the 4th most minutes per game in the NBA.  All this negativitely distracts from any valid critique one may have.

  1. riverman
    riverman
    Posts: 1431

    Posted 12/07/2012 4:00 PM

    Well said Blazer Fanatic...I've been saying this for a long time. After a loss the bubbles burst around here like crazy
    I am a fan of A team that plays like Tower of Power on a big stage on a good night
  1. schwabbii
    schwabbii
    Posts: 205

    Posted 12/07/2012 5:41 PM

    Blazer Maniac, if you want to discuss players not living up to potential, why don't you ever bring up how inconsistent Wesley is? Not once have I seen you write a single thread about how inconsistent he is, even though he is just about as inconsistent as Batum. You get reamed on here because almost the sole purpose of you being on here seems like it is to be a Batum hater. And regressed on defense is not true. He is consistently getting blocks, steals and defending just fine. Don't forget that Batum often times is put on the best offensive player of the opposite teams. What do you want Batum to do? Score a consistent 25 points each game? Take over games? Those are not realistic goals to be honest. Too many people need the ball in their hands for the starting 5. 

    No one is saying that he is an all-star but rather just saying that he is doing alright. Like Blazer Fanatic stated above, you saying to anyone that they have "Batum Rose Colored Sun Glasses" is simply a defense mechanism and proves nothing. It's just trying to distract from the true point of argument. 

    I am a fan of
  1. BlazerManiac
    BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 12/07/2012 7:42 PM

    Yur are right.  Batum is the greatest player in the league Since Michael Jordan.  He walks on water. He can do nothing wrong.  I would take him over Kobe everyday of the week.

    Lets look at the facts between hin and Wes:

    Batum’s Career Average

     

    Career

     

    FG

     

    3PT

     

    FT

     

    Rebounds

     

    Misc

    Year

    Team

    G

    Min

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    Off

    Def

    Tot

     

    Ast

    TO

    Stl

    Blk

    PF

    PPG

     

    2008-09

    POR

    79

    18:23

    2.0

    4.6

    44.6

     

    0.8

    2.1

    36.9

     

    0.5

    0.7

    80.8

     

    1.1

    1.7

    2.8

     

    0.9

    0.6

    0.6

    0.5

    1.8

    5.4

     

    2009-10

    POR

    37

    24:48

    3.8

    7.2

    51.9

     

    1.5

    3.6

    40.9

     

    1.2

    1.4

    84.3

     

    0.9

    2.9

    3.8

     

    1.2

    0.7

    0.6

    0.7

    2.2

    10.1

     

    2010-11

    POR

    80

    31:30

    4.6

    10.1

    45.5

     

    1.5

    4.3

    34.5

     

    1.7

    2.1

    84.1

     

    1.4

    3.2

    4.5

     

    1.5

    1.0

    0.9

    0.6

    2.4

    12.4

     

    2011-12

    POR

    59

    30:23

    4.9

    10.9

    45.1

     

    1.8

    4.6

    39.1

     

    2.3

    2.7

    83.6

     

    1.4

    3.2

    4.6

     

    1.4

    1.5

    1.0

    1.0

    1.8

    13.9

     

    2012-13

    POR

    19

    38:47

    5.7

    13.4

    42.7

     

    2.5

    6.8

    36.9

     

    2.9

    3.6

    82.4

     

    1.5

    4.5

    6.0

     

    3.2

    2.5

    1.7

    1.1

    1.8

    16.9

     

     

    Matthew’s Career average

     

    Career

     

    FG

     

    3PT

     

    FT

     

    Rebounds

     

    Misc

    Year

    Team

    G

    Min

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    M

    A

    Pct

     

    Off

    Def

    Tot

     

    Ast

    TO

    Stl

    Blk

    PF

    PPG

     

    2009-10

    UTA

    82

    24:41

    3.3

    6.9

    48.3

     

    0.8

    2.0

    38.2

     

    2.0

    2.4

    82.9

     

    0.6

    1.7

    2.3

     

    1.5

    1.1

    0.8

    0.2

    1.9

    9.4

     

    2010-11

    POR

    82

    33:36

    5.4

    11.9

    44.9

     

    1.9

    4.6

    40.7

     

    3.2

    3.8

    84.4

     

    0.6

    2.6

    3.1

     

    2.0

    1.7

    1.2

    0.1

    2.4

    15.9

     

    2011-12

    POR

    66

    33:47

    4.8

    11.6

    41.2

     

    2.0

    5.1

    38.3

     

    2.2

    2.6

    86.0

     

    0.8

    2.5

    3.4

     

    1.7

    1.1

    1.5

    0.2

    2.2

    13.7

     

    2012-13

    POR

    19

    37:42

    5.5

    12.9

    42.7

     

    2.2

    5.8

    38.2

     

    2.8

    3.9

    72.0

     

    0.7

    2.5

    3.3

     

    2.7

    1.5

    1.8

    0.3

    2.6

    16.1

     

     

    I will take Matthew’s any day of the week over Batum especially since this is fourth year in the league vs. fifth for Batum and if you count Batum’s time in France this is Batum’s 7th pro year.  Also Matthew has a better work ethic vs. Batum; and finally and most importantly Matthew’s Leadership skills with the team versus Batum.   Matthew has become the vocal leader of this team over LA or Batum.

     

    At least when Matthew’s has a bad game he admits it works harder not to make the same mistakes again.  He does not disappear in games if his shot is not failing.  Who is the first veteran and only veteran who volunteers to play in the summer league for one reason and to do it to perfect his craft. Does Batum? Who also is usually the last player of the floor after practice?  He received a 1 year contract with Utah and at the end of his first season he became a RFA and Portland signed him to an offer sheet and he has earned every dime 

     

    Dollar for Dollar Wesley is by far the better player.  As some on this board have said he is a baller.  Yes some will say Batum rebounds more, well he should he is a SF versus Matthews who is a SG.

     

    We have Matthews under contract thru 2014-2015.  If he continues this kind of play and stays healthy I would rather sing him to an extension in 2014-2015 to a contract with a value similar to Batum.  But that is three years out.

     

    So let’s compare stats and who really brings more to the team not only with the stats, but the intangibles.

     

     

     

    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 12/08/2012 9:38 AM

    Those numbers don't really support your point, blazermaniac. 1 more point per game, identical FG%, 3 more rebounds per game, and shooting 10% better from the foul line. Yet somehow you'd take Matthews over him? They don't even play the same position...

    Anyway, I've been sick of the Batum bashing for a while, but I'm not going to say the guy's a perfect, consistent player. The biggest problem is that BOTH our highest paid players are also the two most likely to disappear for a game or 5. LaMarcus hasn't exactly impressed to date, and I've been happier with JJ than him. So maybe the money is misdirected toward Batum, but LaMarcus isn't exactly earning his paycheck either. Both of them need to step it up or be involved in a deal that brings in a player that we can count on.

    Side note: Thank the lord for Lillard. He'll always do his part to win, and you can depend on it.

    I am a fan of
  1. riverman
    riverman
    Posts: 1431

    Posted 12/08/2012 10:35 AM

    Interesting chart Blazer Maniac..thanks for posting it! One thing charts don't show though are when a player plays injured or sick, who the roster around him was that season, how he was coached and whether or not he was put in a position to excell in certain categories. For example last season Felton, Crawford and Wallace got a lot more touches than either Wes or Nic. Camby even tried to be a jump shooter. With a new coach in system in place, even the returning players have a learning curve this season.
    I am a fan of A team that plays like Tower of Power on a big stage on a good night
  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/08/2012 11:14 AM

    Posted By BlazerManiac on 12/07/2012 7:42 PM

    Yur are right.  Batum is the greatest player in the league Since Michael Jordan.  He walks on water. He can do nothing wrong.  I would take him over Kobe everyday of the week.

     

    We have Matthews under contract thru 2014-2015.  If he continues this kind of play and stays healthy I would rather sing him to an extension in 2014-2015 to a contract with a value similar to Batum.  But that is three years out.

     

     

    Please come off the ledge.  We can get through this. 

     

    You created a straw man argument (meaning, you created an argument that deliberately misrepresents my point) and took a dive off the deep end without arm floaties, and got sucked into the drain hole of hyperbole.  All this Batum bashing, and "he isn't worth his contract" some how you morphed into "He isn't Michael Jordan and I'd rather have Wes than Batum."  As succinctly as I can ask, WTF are you talking about?  Your argument is not a hypothetical, sports geek question of Batum or Wes?  Your argument is "I hate Nicholas Batum and I will disregard any argument that even suggests otherwise."

     

    Blazer fans like the Tail Blazers.  Batum is a Trail Blazers.   Stop complaining please.  You're starting to sounding like a Laker fan.

  1. BlazerManiac
    BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 12/08/2012 12:03 PM

    I live in Southern California and I hate the Lakers, The only thing I am asking is for to him to live up to his contract and potential that all the Batum Lovers claim he has.

    As I have said (and others), I am tired of all the excuses for Batum, it is not his fault for disappearing in a game, it isn't his fault for admitting that when he misses a few shots he quits playing.  It is time for the excuses to stop and for Blazaer Fans to expect Batum to play at his so called potential.  He is a professional NBA Player who is suppose to be one of the best Small Forward's in the game.  Well it is time to stop with the excuses and potential and be that player and earn his contract.

    The facts are the facts. Wes four years into the league has played better and with more passion and agressivness than Batum.  He has the intanginble qualities of a great NBA player and consitently gives his heart and soul of a great NBA player.  He may not have the natural talent of Batum, but he brings it with a solid scoring average and most of all heart, hustle, and grit.

    Any day of the week I would take Wes over Batum.  We need more players on the team like Wes & JJ who are not afraid to cut and slash to the basket and rely on jump shots. I would love a team build around LA, Wes, JJ, and Damian.   I would say if we were to trade anyone at the trading deadline it should not be LA but Batum.

    Batum Lovers will take Batum and that is thier choice.

    Wes bring's it and makes no excuses when he plays poor.  He works harder to improve.

    If Batum wants to be one the great SF in Blazer History like Bobby Gross, Bryan Grant, Scottie Pippen, Cliff Robinson well it is time to play to his Potential NOW!.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 12/08/2012 1:44 PM

    Nice job dancing away from my contribution. Respect.


    And when she said you sounded like a Laker fan, she meant the attitude not which team you support. How can people in such a sunny area be so pissed off?


    Get a PhD! NOW! Living up to your potential doesn't happen overnight.

    I am a fan of
  1. Blazer Fanatic
    Blazer Fanatic
    Posts: 758

    Posted 12/08/2012 2:54 PM

    Maniac:  You continue to misrepresent my argument, and continue to deflect responsibility for the Hater Bubble you're in when you make your arguement.  I am a Trail Blazer fan.  I am a fan of Batum as much as LA, Wes, Lillard, Leonard, Hickson, Freeland.... ect, because they are Trail Blazers.  Dismissing anyone's argument, by saying someone is a Batum lover if they point out that your argument doesn't hold water, is not only inaccurate, it's disingenuis. You are a Hater by virtue of the fact that you bag on Batum and completely disregard his contributions in minutes played, 3PM, steals, blocks, points... and CLUTCH performances on both ends of the court several times this season.  You seek perfection now from Batum and this team.  From your posts, you'd think that if Batum was everything you expected of him, the best SF in the league, the Blazers would be a championship team.  It's not only unrealistic, it's crazy.

     

    I think its "fan"tastic that you post.  I know you are certainly not the only one who feels the way you do, so I hope you don't feel picked on.  My point is addressed to anyone in the same Hater Bubble that you are in when you speak about Batum.

     

    As you said Maniac, "The facts are the facts."  This is one of the few things in your post I can agree with.  And that means you don't get to disregaurd facts that dismantle your argument.

     

    Is there room for Batum to improve?  Absolutely.  That's why we matched Minn offer.  It doesn't happen over night, and there is clear data that shows he has improved already.  Facts are facts.

  1. Siccolo
    Siccolo
    Posts: 1250

    Posted 12/08/2012 3:49 PM

    Everyone gets Batum is not Wesley....

    Everyone is going to have bad games. Batum is going to get better. Does it really matter that he doesnt "stop making excuses" 

    • Batum is in the top 8 in scoring for SF and is makes the LEAST amount of money after Luol Deng.


    He is also top 8 in Blocks, Steals, Assists, of all SF...

    And he has room to improve...Why Would You Trade This Guy!!?!?!?!?! He is 23 what more do you want from him.

    Who would you trade Batum for????

    I am a fan of This Quote "One Love. One Heart. One Human race."
  1. schwabbii
    schwabbii
    Posts: 205

    Posted 12/08/2012 9:46 PM

    Once again, no one is saying that Batum walks on water and is above the other players on the team in earning his paycheck. Yet you consistently argue and criticize Batum and only Batum. Not once have I heard you criticize Wesley. Why is that? Because he "hustles?" Who do you usually see highlights of running back to block an open lay up or who often times plays defense against the Chris Pauls of the NBA? Just because Batum isn't gritty and a work horse like Wesley is in a particular way, doesn't mean he doesn't work hard. You keep on bringing up the fact that Batum has this big contract that he needs to live up to when he signed. Ok...that was just the beginning of the season that he started to get paid like he is now. Before it was a rookie contract and a significant amount less then Wesley. I love Batum. I'll admit it. But I am not stupid to his inconsistencies and lackings. This goes for the whole Blazer team though. I live in Salt Lake City right now and I constantly get badgered about the play of the whole Blazers team. Don't try to say that we are in a bubble just because we don't bash on his stats every game. Some just see that he is indeed improving and that for what we have in him, most small forwards actually aren't at a better value.

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