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Batum Active vs. Jazz
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Batum Thriving with Hornets
Batum, who struggled some early in his career staying healthy, averaged 75.3 games played the past three years and had been a consistent starter this season prior to the injury.
This year has been a bit of a resurgence for Batum, who is averaging a career-best 15.6 points per game after scoring just 9.4 last year—his lowest output since the 2008-09 season.
Hornets head coach Steve Clifford has been fairly consistent with his starting lineup, especially with point guard Kemba Walker and Batum on the wing.
The 27-year-old Batum is in his first year with the Hornets after spending the first seven years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers. Clifford said one of Batum's assets is the fact he plays smart, per Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated:
It’s just really simple. When he catches the ball, he makes simple, quick plays, and he’s usually right. So, if he’s open, he shoots it. If he’s defended, he passes and cuts. The other thing is that he already has an understanding of is the strengths and weaknesses of his teammates. He never leads them into trouble. And then he has the size, exceptional skill level, and passing ability to deliver passes from really anywhere. He’s a really talented player. He actually plays, to me, a lot like Tracy McGrady played. Great size, excellent vision, and the ability to deliver passes also off the dribble. Right now, he’s playing at a high, high level.
When Batum was out of the lineup, Troy Daniels saw a bump in playing time with Jeremy Lamb also nursing a toe injury.