After yet another solid all-around performance off the bench for the Clippers, Nic Batum confirmed that he’s happy with the decision he made to sign with LA after being waived by the Charlotte Hornets last offseason.
Batum was excellent against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, Putting up 14 points on 5-6 shooting, including a perfect 4-4 from downtown. He also added nine rebounds, three assists and a season-high three blocked shots. He’s been found money for LA all season, shooting a career-best 41.4% from three after struggling with his jumper last year in Charlotte. On Sunday, Batum showed how versatile he can be as a help and switch defender, in addition to being a sniper on offense.
It sounds like Batum loves playing in LA. He speaks extremely highly of his teammates, and has been willing to take on whatever role Lue asks of him, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.
"My job has been exactly the same,” Batum said when asked about his role shifting once he was asked to relinquish the starting power forward position to Marcus Morris Sr. “I don't really do anything different...but Marcus has been great for us. He's been even better since starting."
Morris Sr. had a season-high 33 points on Sunday.
If Batum can continue to defend at a high level and knock down threes at a high and efficient clip going into the postseason, the Clippers will be able to make the most of their small-ball lineup with Batum at power forward and Morris at center. Batum can play as a weak side helper and shot-blocker, and LA will be able to spread the floor and switch everything 1-5—a tough matchup for any playoff opponent.
It appears as though Batum did make the right choice.