Found November 28, 2012 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
Batum looks like budding star
Despite his most recent slump, Nicolas Batum started 2012 like he was finally turning a corner in his career.
Portland fans will remember Batum as the savvy frenchman who spent his summer talking about how badly he wanted to play with the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s why Batum signed a $46 million offer sheet from the T-Wolves and implored Portland to let him go.
Unfortunate for Batum, Paul Allen is never one to let a potentially high-upside investment get away (see Brandon Roy, Rudy Fernandez, Greg Oden, etc.).
For the first time in a long time, it looks like Allen’s investment could pay off.
So far in the 2012/13 seasons, Batum is averaging career highs in every per game stat (17.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.6 steals). His 45.3 shooting percentage is just under his career mark of 46 percent.
One of the key moments on his season was the game against San Antonio.
Portland was fighting a gritty battle, but found themselves in a hole when the Spurs came out flying in the fourth. Frustrated, Batum stepped up and asked coach Terry Stots for the ball.
The end result was a career-high 35 points for Batum, and a near Portland loss. He finished his night shooting 63.2 percent from the field and 71.4 percent beyond the arc.
Batum is growing into a budding star for Portland. (Photo: Steve Dykes / US Presswire)
Two games later, Batum would put up another 35 points against Houston.
It’s this new level of maturity that has Batum putting up his best numbers ever. He’s started to become a leader, and the offense can actually run through him. If he could shoot closer to 50 percent, it would put him on the cusp of All-Stardom.
Of course, Batum hasn’t been all greatness for Portland.
The small forward is currently mired in an awful slump. In his last four games, Batum is averaging just 10.25 points per game on 35.7 percent shooting. He’s a horrid 20 percent from the three-point line.
But even with his shooting slump, Batum is contributing in other ways.
He had five assists and two blocks in Portland’s win against Minnesota, and contributed 10 rebounds in the close loss to Detroit.
With his level of play at an all-time high, Batum actually looks deserving of his monster contract. As long as he keeps it up, Portland will have the stellar beginnings of their own Big Three.
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BEST OF MAXIM
STATUE OF LIMITATION
Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard tweeted that while he enjoyed a visit to Washington D.C. and would like to return, the "historic statues" there frighten him.
Blazers drop close one
The Headline: despite a nagging back injury, LaMarcus Aldridge comes alive for Portland; unfortunately, it’s not enough to hold off the Pistons in this 101-108 loss.
Lets review the game, Love’em & Hate’em style.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons
When: 7:30 ET, Monday, November 26, 2012
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit)
Portland continues East Coast slide
The Headline: squaring off with the winless Wizards, Portland continues its East Coast losing streak with this new 82-84 loss.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Washington Wizards
When: 7:00 ET, Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Where: Verizon Center (Washington D.C.)
Officials: Derrick Stafford, David Guthrie, James Williams
PDX needs this one
The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off arguably their most disappointing loss of the season; a contest against the Detroit Pistons that was considered one of the easier games on the schedule through this point in the year.
Matchup: Portland (6-8) @ Washington Wizards (0-12)
Venue: Verizon Center
Time: 4:00 PM PT
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Rip City travels to Motown
The Portland Trail Blazers have a legitimate chance at taking down an Eastern Conference foe on the road Monday, but they’ll have to worry about the big men in the middle when they take on the Detroit Pistons.
Matchup: Portland (6-7) @ Detroit Pistons (3-11)
Venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Time: 4:30 PM PT
Date: Monday, Nov. 26, 2012
The Blazers have...
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WASHINGTON -- Sure, the Wizards remain deep in the NBA's basement, an obvious punch line if an example of overall futility is required. Yet on this night, after opening the season with a dozen straight losses, Washington is home to a winner. Jordan Crawford scored 19 points, and Emeka Okafor sank two free throws with 39 seconds left as the Wizards snapped their 12-game, season...