In just weeks, Nicolas Batum became Charlotte superhero: with “Batman” that achieves the best season of his NBA career, the Hornets play, to general surprise, the role of outsiders in the Eastern Conference.
Charlotte will may finally be known for something other than the identity of its illustrious owner, the legend of the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan.
The person responsible for this feat is called Nicolas Batum, who after seven seasons in Portland, was recruited last summer at age 27 to become the patron of a young and promising team but has not won a match play -offs since 2002!
The operation is, after the first third of the regular season, a success: Charlotte through a rough patch (9th with 15 v d-12, 4 defeats in the last five matches, but Batum, sick, did not his usual yield), but remains a candidate in the play-offs after briefly occupied 2nd place.
Spurred Batum, well supported by Kemba Walker, Charlotte has become one of the most prolific teams NBA, one of the most intractable in defense too.
The Hornets have scored an average of 102.4 points per game, making it the third best attack in the East, especially before the Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James.
With 16.1 items with a formidable addresses three issues (37.5%), 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists, Batum has transformed his team was operating at 94.2 points per game last season.
-‘On Gave me the clefs’-
“Batum played at a level that deserves it disputes the All Star Game”, admired Brad Stevens, coach of the Celtics last Saturday after his team’s victory (98-93) to Charlotte.
The rear, formed by past Caen and Le Mans in ProA (2001-03) before his flight to the NBA, did not take long to seduce his coach and teammates.
“He has an incredible talent, this is something that can not be learned: when he receives the ball, he always knows where his teammates, he knows that he has to pass, it has an intelligence Rare basketball, “insisted his coach Steve Clifford.
“He brought us a lot, it’s great for the team, it is a” hard worker “,” added the other star of the team Kemba Walker.
The French international, always very phlegmatic and measured, changed status: it became the boss and the team’s first offensive option while in Portland, he was in the shadow of Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
These new responsibilities could paralyze, released him: “Everything is new to me, the role, the opportunity I have been given the keys of the team I was given when I was leaving d. One of my worst seasons, “he acknowledged.
“I take pleasure, I want to make the most,” continued this part of the France team, bronze medalist of the Euro-2015.
As he approaches the end of his contract, Batum Charlotte could even get a “max contract”, a windfall contracts that each NBA team can sign his best player.