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AdamBjaranson

Feb 06

Forget Sunday, it was Super Saturday!!

By AdamBjaranson Posted in: NicolasBatum
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect when I heard all the pre-game reports surrounding Nicolas Batum.   Words on Twitter didn’t paint a good picture:  “grimacing, painful & non-effective shot”.   Really?!?!  Could have fooled me.  And yes, they did fool the Denver Nuggets—a team that arrived in Portland with a better road record (8-4), than home record (7-4) this season.   What we saw was a performance that will go down in the Trail Blazer record books. 

Batum became the forgotten one for the Nuggets defense.  Mind you, that has been the case quite often for Denver this season.  They came in ranked 25th in points allowed.   But Batum was in a world all his own this night.  The “restricted free-agent to be” was deadly from beyond the arc.  For the night, he’d rip the ropes with a franchise record nine 3-pointers.   No Blazer had ever accomplished that in 42 years of existence. 

Ever been in a boat with a sack full of rocks?   Me neither.   But imagine the scene for a moment:  Stand up, throw them into the water.   You can’t miss, right?  (I know, crazy analogy)  But, after Batum dropped his first 5 in the opening half, I began to think, this could be something special.   And then came the second half.   Every time Batum touched the ball, I said to myself, “do it, shoot that baby”.   And then, he’d be true on 4 of his 7 attempts after halftime.   9 of 15 for the game, and a new career high 33 points for the Frenchman.   Said teammate Gerald Wallace after the game, “I mean, he can shoot. I already know that. Trust me, I have to contest those shots in practice every day so I already know what he can do. Like I said, I was just impressed him doing it with a banged up knee. That makes it even more impressive to me.”

But he wasn’t alone.  Credit his Portland teammates for finding him behind the arc.  Heck, Jamal Crawford had more assists (8) than shots taken (7).    And as a team, Portland had 30 assists on 46 made field goals.   As the Blazers often are, they were very effective at home.  Portland has now won each of their last 3 home games by at least 20 points and are averaging a 34.0 point margin of victory during that span.   Impressive to be sure.  Now, it’s time to see how they fare against the team with the best road record in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.   Portland, with an 11-1 home record, is just 6 more wins away from matching their best home start in franchise history.  Back in 1998-1999 they raced out to a 17-1 mark.  Oh, by the way, that was the last lockout shortened season.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

2 Comments

  1. good blog adam

    by jamie (guy) on 2/6/2012 1:56 PM
  2. love the analogy; seemed as though he couldn't miss there for a while. very special to see Nicolas come out and have a night like that, even though he wasn't 100 percent.

    when you've got a couple east coast teams playing in the super bowl, it was sweet that Nicolas, LaMarcus, Jamal and Wesley could provide us with the real game of the weekend. it also didn't hurt that the game was on nbatv for those of us who can't watch it locally.

    what i saw ... well, that was just something special.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/6/2012 3:15 PM
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