On a night when Terry Porter’s number 30 was raised to the Rose Garden rafters and Brandon Roy nearly continued his 30-plus consecutive scoring streak, Nicolas Batum decided to show-up and join the party.
The 19-year-old from Lisieux, France – who has struggled of late after a brilliant start to the season - finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal and went 2 for 5 from beyond the arc in roughly 24 minutes.
Nicolas needed that game. Every rookie slumps at some point in the season. Maybe this was his slump buster.
It was Batum’s best game since November 28 against New Orleans when he finished with 12 points in 20 minutes. His outings that followed have been a combination of nondescript (Boston and Los Angeles Clippers) and scoreless (5 of the last 8 games) performance. It became glaringly clear Nicolas had run smackdab into a rookie wall.
On Tuesday night Batum ran right through that wall thanks to a regained stroke and his trademark defense. Thanks to Nicolas, the Blazers bench actually snapped out of their mini-funk with with all seven members in the second unit scoring in Portland’s 32-point win over the Sacramento Kings.
pic via: daylife