Jan 26

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.


  1. Ouch! Sorry Nate. ; ) I can picture Batum telling Nate, "I can do more" and Nate thinking, "oh, his English just isn't very good. He probably just means he wants a play or two drawn up for him." What a great game for Batum. He's having fun and doing it all. I'm really happy for him.

    Stotts is a great teacher, and a better coach. I wish he had more refined tallent to work with, but he is really an awesome fit here in Rip City.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/27/2013 2:18 AM
  2. Hey Miss Sarah: what a game, what a player; you picked a great player for your story,

    I hate to tell on myself, but I had just about gave up the game for a loss; as I mostly do, I put off part of my job to watch the game then after the game I go out and finish the nights work. I was already proud of the team for staying in this play-off type game, but thought this was one they let a better team get the best of them; of course I was sad because they fought so hard and played so good and I thought the refs wouldn't let them win and that was so unfair. Then in my deepest despair a miracle, transformed and Batum let the world know that he would not be cheated out of this one. Although that missed pass to Lillard was scary we were still up one and had time to get the ball back.

    WOW, what a game.

    by Hg on 1/27/2013 5:13 AM

  3. @Blazer Fanatic: giving credit to Stotts isn't a slam to Nate; Nate was an OK coach, but different than Stotts, as Nate was a slow down one-on one type coach which is pretty much old style now but still a little affective at times, not all the time, as Atlanta also found out by getting beat out of the play-offs with the same type offense. Stotts offense builds up confidence in new or young players and Nate is more of a Vet coach. Look at the coach for the Lakers, he uses the same type Offense that Stotts does, but with the vets he has are maybe to old to adjust. Kinda like me to set in my ways.

    I do feel Stotts coaching is much more effective with these young uns by putting them in and letting them get some experience and winning at the same time.

    But again that makes Stotts different, not better.

    Hey did you see that resigned look Stotts had on his face when the mysteries of Barton took over and completely boo bood the play.

    by Hg on 1/27/2013 5:25 AM
  4. Hey Miss Sarahecht:
    I have a political question; a few years back when you were still in pig tails, Paul Allen wanted to buy the SuperSonics, but the league wouldn't let him because of a conflict of interest, Now with the pending sale of the Kings to a group from Seattle and one being the COE of MicroSoft which is actually working for Paul Allen and Bill Gates, makes me wonder, do you see where I am going with this? I know you are bound by your job and I would not ask you to breach on your contract, but IYO, do you think that may be a loophole that PA is using to actually owning two teams at once.

    I thank you for listening, even if you can't answer. Curiosity strikes again.

    by Hg on 1/27/2013 5:35 AM
  5. One week after we hired Stotts. After we matched Minnesota's offer. There were a lot of unknowns.
    I said " Batum will benefit the most of any player from Stotts ball, he just doesn't know it yet."

    by Divotking on 1/27/2013 2:07 PM
  6. @hg I think it absolutely is a valid critisism of Nate. He pulled guys the second they screwed up. He rarely played guys over those that made more money. He did not trust or develope younger players by playing them in games. He and Stotts are different, and Stotts is clearly a better fit for this team. There was very little movement in Nate's offense. Every year, "we're going to run more," and it never happened.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/27/2013 4:16 PM
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