The Philadelphia 76ers are off to a blistering start this season after winning four straight games since their tight loss on opening night. And with the James Harden ordeal now past them, the team recently welcomed some new faces following the blockbuster trade.
One of those players was Nicolas Batum who was acquired from the LA Clippers. However, the veteran forward has not been with the team since then due to personal reasons undisclosed to the public. But that should change tonight as he is set to make his season debut in the team’s game against the visiting Washington Wizards.
Nicolas Batum set to make 76ers debut vs the Wizards
Over their last couple of outings, the 76ers have been in want of some depth in the forward position. With PJ Tucker’s departure prompting a promotion for Kelly Oubre Jr. to the starting lineup, the coaching staff has resorted to giving Oubre and Tobias Harris a heavy dose of minutes on the interim. It also does not help that Marcus Morris Sr. remains out due to injury and Robert Covington and KJ Martin have had limited reps to get familiarized with the team.
Batum may also be a newcomer, but he is known for his heady style of play and should be pretty adaptive to Nick Nurse’s new system. Alas, he could even contend to make the opening lineup, as the 76ers probably prefer to have Oubre Jr. reprise his role off the bench as the second unit’s primary option despite him having played well since his jump into the starting five.
The Frenchman may not be a household name and only have a little left in the tank for his final year as a professional, but as many have witnessed in his Clippers stint, he remains a steady hand who can do multiple things on the court — a reliable connector and three-point shooter on offense and a versatile, switchable forward on defense. These intangibles will definitely be very welcome for a 76ers team hellbent on proving that they are still a team to watch out for in the championship hunt.