Six weeks have passed, and the Charlotte Hornets will get Nicolas Batum back for their Wednesday night showdown against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Back in October, the Charlotte Hornets lost Nicolas Batum to a torn UCL, which he’s spent the last six weeks recovering from. Head coach Steve Clifford is confident in his French guard taking the court on Wednesday, saying only something “drastic” will affect the lineup, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
“He did a ton yesterday, and he feels good today,” explained Clifford. “He feels good and he looks good.”
Batum echoed sentiments similar to his coach. “If it’s my call, yes,” he said. “If the coaches and the training staff are OK with it, it should be a go tomorrow.”
As of Tuesday, it’s unclear how many minutes Batum will play during his debut.
Charlotte is in the middle of a four-game losing streak, and they sit at 5-7 on the year. Batum’s absence has been noticeable. They’re 20th and 22nd overall in points per game and offensive rating, respectively. Kemba Walker, like years past, has been the team’s best player. In the 12 games, he averaging 21.7 points and 6.6 assists.
The rotations have been a bit odd thanks to Batum’s injury. Jeremy Lamb, the sixth-year player from UConn, has had to start and is seeing more minutes than ever before. Steve Clifford has relied on him to be that secondary scorer, and he hasn’t disappointed. In his 30.3 minutes, Lamb’s averaging 16.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 46.8 percent from the field. He’s also connecting on 45.7 percent of his threes, a 17.6 percent increase over last year.
It’s a joyous day getting Nicolas Batum back. His playmaking and ability to handle the ball is something Charlotte has missed, but we don’t know how long it’s going to take for him to get into the flow of the offense.
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