Nicolas Batum is considered as one of the most talented wing players in France for the upcoming years. Yesterday, I had the possibility to see him play in the French league and I want to give an update on him and what to expect from him this season.
Batum, who was considered a possible lottery pick already in last year’s NBA Draft, but then decided to withdraw because he felt not ready, plays for the French Euroleague team Le Mans. Yesterday, they had to face the team of Gravelines in their Sportica gym. Batum was playing 2 impressive quarters, the first and the third. You could see him being the offensive leader during these moments.
Being benched in the second quarter, Batum was not really present in the last ten minutes though. After getting some shots he missed in the beginning of the last quarter, he was not there anymore in the final minutes when his team would have needed him. Before, his team mates looked to get him open shots or drives, but in the end, this was not the case anymore.
Batum has already been criticized for his quietness on the court and not assuming the role of a team leader. I assume that you can not await from a player of his age (he is born in December 1988) to be a vocal leader but it is possible. His team mate Antoine Diot, who is from the same generation, does this already, also with the pros.
To get a better view on Nicolas’ game of yesterday, I made an in-detail analysis of his game here. I had also prepared a video analysis of Batum from a last year Euroleague game against Olympiacos which you can see here downlow.