Frequent (read: multiple times daily) reader, infrequent commenter, first-time poster. Hope this post does the site justice.
My fanpost today is about the one guy who I believe will (but earnestly hope won't) get the short end of the stick this season regarding minutes and allowed productivity :
I was thoroughly impressed by the then 19-year-old from France throughout the 08-09 NBA season, even though he played somewhat limited minutes (especially for holding a starting role) and was mostly a nonfactor on offense. His defense capabilities are astounding for a man his age, to say the least. And he only impressed me more over the summer.
Thanks in part to this site (for linkage), I had chance to watch live streams and highlights of our young frenchman play for his country in Eurobasket over the summer . He truly, truly looked phenomenal. He had more of an offensive role and still played the lockdown defense we fell in love with. He handled the ball more (even playing some PG), and appeared more relaxed and in rhythm with the game.
My worry as a pre-season-nervous-nellie is that Nicolas Batum will get shafted of his deserving minutes. Yes, shafted. Beit by Rudy, Martell or Travis. I sense shafting in the midst. I believe that Batum has earned these minutes over the summer with what he has accomplished and how he has improved in Eurobasket.
Batum deserves the starting role and the minutes that go along with being a starting player because:
1) Batum is the best defender on Portland's roster for his position.
2) The greatest growth statistically and historically comes from season 1 to season 2. We should see great strides in his game this year if given the opportunity.
3) With Webster coming off injury, his consistency and health is an issue.
4) Outlaw is really an undersized PF, and while I understand the Rudy/Roy lineup is extremely efficient in terms of PER .... Roy really doesn't need to be taking the wear and tear of guarding the 3's especially since he's lost weight over the summer.
Here are the stats for both Batums rookie season and for this summer's Eurobasket:
Batum's Stats from 2008-09 NBA rookie season:
Batum's Stats from Euroleage this year:
2P 3P REBOUNDS
G Min FG / % FG / % FT / % O D Tot AS PF TO ST BS Pts PPG
9 28.6 26/48 / 54.2 8/22 / 36.4 10/20 / 50.0 1.9 3.0 4.9 1.8 2.3 1.4 0.6 1.0 86 9.5
If you didn't get a chance to check out this video highlight that #10 posted of Batum in Eurobasket, you really should.
I'd like to see Batum get 30+ minutes per game. Tell me what you think in the poll and comments below!