Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Batum’

Never doubt the Portland Trail Blazers

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Portland Trail Blazers entered this season with many NBA experts predicting a tough road. They had only recently traded Nic Batum, plus lost Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, so it seemed as if this could be a rebuilding campaign. The Blazers, however, had other ideas, and, led by their dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, are currently 34-31 and in the Western Conference playoff picture. The Blazers released this commercial today to remind people that just when we thought they were out, they pulled us back in…

VIDEO: Never doubt Rip City


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Like we always do at this time, let’s take a look at the best instances of people getting #POSTERIZED over the last week and, at the bottom of the post, you can place your vote for a winner. And don’t forget, if you see someone get posterized, tweet it with the hashtag #POSTERIZED so we don’t miss it!

Let’s get right to it this week. Special shoutout to last week’s winner, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan!

OK, let’s get to the POSTERS…so many entrants this week, perhaps our strongest poll yet from top to bottom, including a special double dose of the great Boban Marjanovic(more…)

Learn French with the Charlotte Hornets

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the big offseason acquisitions for the Charlotte Hornets was Nicolas Batum, who not only brings defense and versatility, but also brings along his native French culture. In the video below, several members of the Charlotte Hornets attempt to learn a little French. Il ne va pas très bien…

VIDEO: Hornets French

Tony Parker driving a car while being chased by a tiger

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When you’re trying to find a point guard to lead your team, one attribute that’s important is finding someone who is level-headed, who can keep their wits about them even in the midst of chaos. Chaos like an NBA game or, perhaps, being chased by a live tiger on a French game show.

The clip below comes from a French TV game show called “Fort Boyard,” where contestants apparently have to complete some pretty wild tasks. Here Tony Parker “drives” a metal-reinforced car around and tries to collect water to spray into a container, all while being chased by a tiger. Parker’s teammates in the endeavor include fellow Frenchmen Boris Diaw, Ronny Turiaf and Nic Batum, although they are safe and sound high above. TP is ground-level with the tiger.

VIDEO: TP Fort Boyard

The Trail Blazers apparently don’t watch much “Portlandia”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “Portlandia” is a comedy set in Portland and filmed in Portland. So it’s no surprise that the Portland Trail Blazers have been featured on the show previously, several times.

But that doesn’t mean they watch the show regularly. In this video, several of the Trail Blazers play a little Name That Tune with the theme song of “Portlandia.” They all obviously know the show. The song? Well…

VIDEO: Portland Portlandia

Batum Steals From His All-Star Teammate

Last night, the Washington Wizards got over the .500 hump for the first time in four years by beating up on the Portland Trail Blazers. Early in the contest, Nicolas Batum took the liberty to pull something that I’ve never seen done before in an NBA game.

He decided to play defense on his own teammate:

VIDEO: Nicolas Batum rips LaMarcus Aldridge during Blazers-Wizards game

Batum didn’t pilfer the pill from any co-worker. He picked arguably the game’s best power forward and three-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. To his defense (odd word to use here), Batum could have been protecting the rock from a lurking Trevor Ariza, who is a known ballhawk. Or he could have just wanted the ball and was enterprising enough to take it, teammate or not.

To make matters worse, he bricked the subsequent trey ball and left a host of questions in the aftermath.

Was this his way of showcasing his displeasure of being an All-Star snub? Will this be brought up in the Blazers’ film study session? Does it technically count as a pass? Was Batum inspired by Carlton Banks? Only Batum knows.

Sometimes, defending the other team is just not enough.

NBA Behind The Scenes: The Photo Game (Part Two)


BROOKLYN Earlier this week, I spent an evening shadowing Nathaniel Butler from NBA Photos as he photographed the Trail Blazers-Nets game in Brooklyn. During the game, Butler gave me a camera and let me shoot the action. What follows are some of the images I took that night, with my thoughts and comments below each picture. These pictures have not been cropped or color-corrected or anything else. This is what I shot … for better, or for, probably mostly, worse.


As the Blazers took the floor to warm up directly in front of me, Nic Batum started hoisting 15-footers from the right wing. I picked up my camera, zoomed in a bit, half-pushed the button down to make sure the image was focused, and then fired off the shot. What I didn’t account for was that Batum would jump when he shot, so my photo chopped off his arms and the ball.


Once the game started, sure enough the Nets ran a play to get Kevin Garnett a shot at the top of the key. I saw the play developing and as soon as KG caught the ball and squared up, I took this picture. Unfortunately, as you may notice, I managed to capture all of the players out of focus. But the basket support and the fans in the front rows are crystal clear. Also, terrific job by me to cut off the shot clock. (more…)

Horry Scale: Crawford Sinks Blazers

by Jeff Case


We were getting a little worried around here, what with it being almost a full month since the Kings’ James Johnson delivered the last entry to the 2012-13 Horry Scale. Thank goodness (unless, of course, you’re a Portland fan) for Washington’s Jordan Crawford and his heroics in the Rose Garden on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Wizards — what with their 8-30 record entering Monday night — they haven’t had the best of seasons so far. Point guard phenom John Wall missed 32 of those games recovering from knee surgery, big man Nene has been in and out of the lineup with ailments and, with all that in mind, Washington not surprisingly started the season 0-12. (The team Washington beat for its first win? Portland.)

One of the few bright spots for the Wizards has been Crawford, who is the team’s leading scorer. It hasn’t been all awful for Washington lately — entering Monday night’s game, the Wizards were 3-2 in the five games since Wall’s return and notched a win at the always-tough Pepsi Center in Denver.

Portland has seen better days. The Blazers were in the midst of a five-game swoon entering Monday. Nicolas Batum recorded his first career triple-double, but that was of little consolation in a nail-biting loss to the Wizards. How did Portland lose this one? Blazers fans, pick the moment. Was it Damian Lillard‘s dunk over Nene that pulled the score to 91-90 with 2:21 left? Was it Wes Matthews‘ game-tying 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left that tied it at 95? Or was it Crawford’s game-winner that crushed any hopes of victory? We’ll get into all of this soon.

For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

How does Crawford’s shot Monday night stack up? Let’s take a look. (more…)

LaMarcus Aldridge, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale

by Micah Hart

Looks like we missed one of these during the regular season when we were on vacation, but can’t let the playoffs get too far gone without acknowledging LaMarcus Aldridge‘s handiwork before his season-ending hip injury.

For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

The Blazers had a tough season, losing many, many players to injury, but at least we know one night ended happily. What’d Horry have to say?


Medium-difficulty shot. Aldridge gets the ball pretty far out on the perimeter with his back to the basket. He gets a nice little shoulder into Brendan Haywood as he makes his move towards the paint, creating some space for a step-back jumper. LA is one of the sweetest shooting big men in the game, so I’m not surprised he cans this one. I know you got bumped a little there Brendan, but a little more effort there on the contest might have been nice.

Game Situation

Tied 97-97 in overtime, the Blazers have just 3.7 seconds left to make something happen. Just enough time to get the ball to Aldridge and let him go to work.


This game was played on April 6, at which point the Blazers were still very much alive for the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff race. So yeah, a pretty important win. Unfortunately Aldridge would be lost for the season just a few days later, and Portland would be lottery bound.


Portland is an awesome place to hit a game-winner. And though the Blazers were away from the friendly confines of the Rose Garden, they still get a nice huddle going on the Mavericks’ homecourt. A tip of the cap to the sportsmanship of Nic Batum, who ended up smack-dab in the middle of the Mavs’ bench when the shot dropped, but refrained from preening as some might have.


2 Horrys. A tie game, a somewhat easy shot (though LA’s smoothness deserves a lot of credit for making it look so) makes this one a little on the pedestrian side. I’ll give it 2 though for the potential playoff implications at the time and for doing it to the (since departed) defending champs on their home court.

What do you think?

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Three For All: Denver Nuggets, Part II

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Denver Nuggets, who for the second time this season played three straight, this time from Feb. 2-4.

The Nuggets are the first team this season to take on the three for all challenge twice (12 teams will do it more than once this season). The first time around they put up six points, due in large part to winning the last two games of the challenge, and were a Danilo Gallinari bunny away from sweeping the thing altogether. We’re a month longer into the season, and the Nuggets have played pretty well overall. Could they do even better this time around? Let’s take a look.

Game 1: Nuggets 112, Clippers 91 – A terrific start, getting a win at Staples Center against the up and coming Clippers. Denver’s rep this season is as one of the deepest teams in the league (thanks in part as we all know to the Carmelo Anthony trade, which they seem to have gotten the better of so far and by a longshot), and they used that depth against LAC, putting five players in double figures, led by Gallinari’s 21, and three more chipped in with eight.  3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Lakers 93, Nuggets 89 – In a weird schedule quirk, the Lakers comprised 50% of the Nuggets’ three for all challenges — Denver played them twice the first time around and once in this edition. Once again it came down to the wire, but Al Harrington missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds and the Lakers held on. -1 point

Game 3: Blazers 117, Nuggets 97 – The Blazers have been nearly unbeatable at the Rose Garden this season, and with Denver gasping for air in the last night of the challenge it’s no real surprise how this one turned out. Nicolas Batum hit nine 3s on his way to a career-best 33 points for Portland. 0 points

So we see almost a perfect negative of the Nuggets first threeplay — a win followed by two losses instead of a loss followed by two wins. 2 total points for Denver, and thankfully no more back-to-back-to-backs for the rest of the regular season.

Up next: The Utah Jazz and Miami Heat both play three straight Feb. 12-14.

Three for all Top Ten:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)

Full Three for all standings

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