Dec 23, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) on the bench before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

France advances to EuroBasket Quarterfinals

Nicolas Batum bounced back after a sub-par shooting performance against Lithuania on Wednesday. Today, he scored 19 points on 7/10 shooting, with 10 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, and a block, en route to a 102-91 victory over Latvia. Not a bad stat-line by any stretch.

Continuing Wednesday’s narrative, the French team’s success coincided with Batum’s. He had a great game and so did his teammates. Batum was actually the 3rd highest scorer for France, behind Alexis Ajinca (25), and Tony Parker (23), as France became the first team to break triple-digits in the 2013 EuroBasket tournament. Bear in mind, these are 10 minute quarters, and that is very impressive.

Batum’s shooting efficiency has been a sine curve with yo-yo envy in the tournament thus far. Today’s 70% field goal percentage was a peak. It’s a good thing too, since the French team secured their spot in the quarterfinals with today’s win, but I can’t help but feel that their French spin on Russian roulette will end with another spotty performance from our Blazer before the tournament is through.

The French team will still have to face Serbia on Sunday, before the quarterfinals begin.

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