Jan 31, 2012 10:36 AM EST
Nicolas Batum twisted his knee in the closing seconds of 93-89 loss to the Jazz on Monday night. He immediately writhed around in pain on the arena floor and had to be helped to the visiting locker room.
Batum, who said he never has had a knee problem, is scheduled to undergo magnetic resonance imaging testing this morning to determine the extent of his injury. The pain, he said, is located on the outside of his knee, near his kneecap, and he relayed a mix of optimism and uncertainty in the postgame locker room.
"A little bit," he said, when asked how concerned he was. "I don't think it will be too bad. But we'll see tomorrow."
Jan 28, 2012 1:45 PM EST
Nicolas Batum is okay with the fact that he’ll become a restricted free agent this summer.
“I’m good with everything,” Batum said, expressing relief that the extension deadline had passed. “The toughest part was that I don’t know what was going to happen. But now I know. And, OK, it’s bad because we didn’t reach a deal. But I’m good because I’m finally done with it. I don’t care about it now. Free agency is in July. We’re in January, so I don’t think about it right now.”
Batum has performed below his own expectations thus far this season.
“I know I can do much more,” Batum said. “I’m not really satisfied by myself right now.”
Blazers coach Nate McMillan has encouraged Batum to be more aggressive in looking for opportunities to score.
“I have to be more aggressive,” Batum said. “I know this. As soon as I step on the floor, I have (to have) the mindset to be ready, like Oakland. Coach said, ‘Now I want you to play like that every night. I don’t know if you were (ticked) off or more focused because the contract.’ I told him I’m more ready.”
Jan 26, 2012 10:20 AM EST
After weeks of negotiations that included talks throughout the day on Wednesday, the Blazers and Nicolas Batum's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, could not find middle ground, guaranteeing that Batum will become a free agent after this season.
Ndiaye says Batum will explore every available opportunity on the market.
"They say they love him but they didn't offer him something fair, so that's it," Ndiaye said. "We tried and there's no deal. On July 1 we're going to look at the market first before we come back to the Blazers. That's for sure."
Jan 25, 2012 10:16 AM EST
Blazers interim general manager Chad Buchanan and members of the front office met face-to-face with Bouna Ndiaye, Nicolas Batum’s agent, on Monday and the sides continued conversations intermittently Tuesday.
Neither Buchanan nor Ndiaye would offer specifics about the talks or reveal whether the sides were close to an agreement. But one source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday night that there was “nothing pending.”
Although Batum has repeatedly expressed a desire to remain in Portland and every key person in the Blazers’ front office has called Batum a building block of the future, there appears to be a difference of opinion as to what Batum is worth.
Jan 20, 2012 7:27 PM EST
The Blazers will meet with the agent for Nicolas Batum in Portland on Monday.
The discussion will be a continuation of talks that were held on Jan. 13 in San Antonio, when the Blazers reportedly made a “low-ball offer” to Batum.
Batum's agent is expected to give the Blazers their counterproposal in Monday's meeting.
Jan 19, 2012 12:14 PM EST
The Blazers held a players-only meeting following Wednesday's 92-89 loss to the Hawks.
"We are having breakdowns and making mistakes and the chemistry is so good, and you are so close to the next guy, that you are not getting on him," said LaMarcus Aldridge. "We have to get to the point where we can get on anybody, and get on everybody. You know, to where everybody can get on me, and I can get on them. But this guy is making a mistake, and it's 'It's OK, it's cool. Shake it off.'"
Nobody took issue with Nate McMillan's assessment that the team needed to play harder.
"He was being honest. And if we are going to be a team, we have to be honest with each other," Jamal Crawford said. "And Coach said what he saw and we agree with him."
Jan 19, 2012 10:45 AM EST
Nicolas Batum was poked in the left eye by Tracy McGrady early in the second quarter of the Blazers' 92-89 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday and was taken to the hospital for X-rays.
They were negative for an orbital fracture, but Batum was in noticeable pain after the game and said he was experiencing blurred vision.
"I see three T. Macs after," Batum said, smiling.
Jan 18, 2012 10:18 AM EST
The Knicks plan to target Steve Nash, along with Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton, with this summer’s $5 million mid-level exception.
“You’ve got a guy by the name of Steve Nash who’s orchestrating the offense,’’ Amar'e Stoudemire said. “Things seem to run a little smoother when he’s got control of the ball. But we’ll get there.’’
Jan 17, 2012 12:38 PM EST
Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford have been struggling with their shooting accuracy and turnovers, making the Portland backcourt a liability.
"Those are our guards," said Nate McMillan. "It's not like we are going to go to our young guys."
McMillan also has Nolan Smith, but his minutes have been limited.
Crawford says he is playing in a more "structured" system than he is used to. He says he is trying to rein himself in, "but I can only be me."
Felton is accustomed to pushing the pace and had been given a lot of control of the offense, but McMillan began calling the plays from the sideline on Saturday.
"I don't want to control you," McMillan said. "I don't want you to be out there 'Playing like Coach Mac wants me to play' as opposed to just play. Play the game. If you run a pick and roll and someone is open, take it. If you run a pick and roll, think attack first, think score first. If you have a matchup – go!"
Jan 14, 2012 10:31 AM EST
Representatives for Nicolas Batum, met with Blazers' management in San Antonio on Friday.
A source close to the negotiations said the Blazers made a “low-ball offer” to Nicolas Batum and that sides are “very far apart" and "no progress was made."
Bouna Ndiaye, Batum's agent, said that the sides would meet Friday for their second negotiation session and would be back at it for their third session after the Blazers' 6-game road trip.
However, the same source has said things have changed and that Batum's camp will not request another meeting if the Blazers don't move up from their number by Jan. 23.
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