Batum’s Concussion & What it Means Right Now

 

Sep 30, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (88) poses for a photo during media day at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What happened:

Nicolas Batum went for a layup that was contested by Will Barton in yesterday’s practice. The two collided and Batum hit the stanchion. After being evaluated, it was determined that Batum suffered a concussion from the impact. He was immediately removed from practice and declared “out indefinitely.” It sounds like the concussion is a bit worse than the one Barton sustained last week, so don’t expect a similar turnaround in sub-seven days.

What will happen for Batum:

He will undergo the league’s concussion protocol before returning to action. This basically means that he will not exercise until asymptomatic at rest, then will not practice until asymptomatic during exercise, then will not play until asymptomatic in practice. This means he will miss tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns and probably Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz (minimum). The longer he is out, the more comfortable I am with his return.

What will happen for the team:

The Blazers will continue to function without their core intact, albeit at a lower level. The upside to the 7th Blazer injury of training camp and those that preceded it, is that Portland’s bench will get more practice than anyone else’s. Meaningful minutes for Will Barton, Allen Crabbe, Victor Claver, and Thomas Robinson abound in the temporary absence of CJ McCollum, Nicolas Batum, Dorell Wright, and LaMarcus Aldridge.

NBA pre-season is the highest level of off-season competition these guys have seen (with the exception of Victor Claver, who participated in EuroBasket 2013). I am more than happy to allow extended minutes for the players that need them while it does not affect Portland’s record. It will be sloppy, but it is essentially a jumpstart for the success of the Blazers’ most ambitious improvement— the new bench; Most of which is now gaining valuable experience.

The only real downside to the recent rash of injuries (besides the injuries themselves) is that regardless of how much time anyone plays, no one gets to truly fill the role they were intended to. If anything will undo the hot start Portland is hoping for, it’s this. The most important aspect of team building on such a drastic scale is chemistry, so Terry Stotts must work extra hard to make sure each role is clearly defined in practice despite the change in game plan.

Portland will take on Phoenix in the Moda Center tonight at 7:00 p.m. PST, however, the game will not be televised.

Topics: Injury, Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers

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  • backoffimascientist

    This is fine. More time to see how the young guys play and what roles they might be able to fit into.

  • blazerfan808

    dorrell back yet? if so, he gets the start. if not then claver.

    despite the loss to the clippers i was pleased with the showings of crabbe, lopez, and leonard. guys whom i had big doubts about. the clippers trap defense looks beefed up and chris paul is still chris paul. just mentally crushing anyone in his path. deandre jordan also looked much improved and laid waste any contender in his path. blocked shots are better than dunks and bruise the ego of the entire team including the coaching staff.

    to get a head of myself and talk playoff basketball. lopez seemed to improve rebounding positioning. i actually think lma and lopez, while still on the soft side, will be a formidable duo, giving most teams in the league a hard time night in and night out. meyers leonard is now one of the better shooters on the team and made some really good decisions.

    a surprisingly yet sad reality, is how much of an impact cj mccollum could be making with the 2nd unit. i think he is our 2nd unit SG of the future. having him run a continuity PnR on either wing will really open things up. and with leonard more than capable of knocking down those 15 footers, this could present a really interesting dynamic.

    • David MacKay

      Well stated.