Batum Credits Stotts With Opportunity For Growth After Second Triple-Double Of The Week
By sarahhecht Posted in: Clippers, NicolasBatum
One of the absolute best parts of a big win is the postgame reaction of the players. Tonight, after the Trail Blazers’ huge 101-100 victory over the Clippers on the first night of a home-and-home, was exactly one of those nights. Walking down the hallway toward the locker room I could hear the music pumping and the guys inside celebrating, I knew I was in for a treat.
Now, normally, I’d take some time to observe the whole room and see how each of the fellas was acting—like who looked the most cheerful and talkative—before deciding who to pounce on for a story, because let’s be honest, happy players make for the best stories. But tonight, I didn’t even look. I opened the door and turned directly to the first locker on the left. Yep, you guessed it, Nicolas Batum
Batum earned his second career triple-double tonight—also his second in a week—and did it by nabbing his 10th rebound on a last minute shot attempt by former Trail Blazer Jamal Crawford who was shooting for the win.
Needless to say, he was all smiles. Check out the video and you will be too.
Sporting a sizable goose egg on his right cheek and a fat lip courtesy of a few Clippers, the bumps and bruises were nothing compared to the elation and pride emanating from the Frenchman as he described the end of the game and the final rebound that pushed him into double digits.
“Everybody told me, ‘One more! One more!’,” Batum said. “When he [Crawford] got the ball I say, ‘don’t care about that,’ just try to make him miss a shot and triple-double is not big deal, I prefer to win this game.
“In the last action I don’t really care about the triple-double, nobody care about that the last couple plays, especially the last one. I try to make him miss the shot and I got the rebound!”
With the flurry of words he spoke, Batum’s excitement began to ebb a bit as the realization of his success really started to sink in. He then took some time to describe why he believes he’s been able to improve his game enough to accomplish such a feat—he’s the only current Trail Blazer to have earned a triple-double in their career.
“It feels good. I really try and improve on every part of the game. I kept saying that for four years, I kept saying that I can do other things on the court,” Batum said. “This year I like to play with coach Terry Stotts because he really let me play like I want to play, let me do what I wanna do. He put me in the situation. I improve a lot because he told be beginning of the season, ‘I can put you in situation you never been before.’ So first couple of game I struggle a little bit, but now, I start to really get my rhythm on pick-and-roll and create and more comfortable feeling, so the coach is a big part of it.”
With credit to Coach Stotts and himself both paid, Batum joked about the triple-doubles and what it means for the future. “People gonna expect me to do a triple-double every week now, so if I don’t make it next week you gonna be on me,” he said with a laugh.
Well Nicolas, the way I see it, if the bar for success is set at triple-double standard, you’re doing something(s) right.
Congrats big fella.