3. Start Nicolas Batum, S’il vous plaît.
Newly acquired forward Nicolas Batum has only played a single game so far, but fans saw a glimpse of what the 15-year veteran can bring to the floor in his outstanding performance in the team’s latest outing the Wizards.
In just 17 minutes off the bench, the Frenchman poured in 11 solid points on three triples while playing solid defense. Clearly, he still has some left in the tank, though it should have been pretty apparent unless you have never watched the LA Clippers in recent years.
Conjunctive to bringing Kelly Oubre off the bench, the 76ers should start Batum next to Tobias Harris in the nominal power forward spot. His minutes should remain in the low 20s at maximum, but him being part of the opening group will provide some much-needed balance in a pretty scoring-heavy starting five.
The longtime cager could very well log single digits in points for the rest of the season, but his value lies in the non-numerical. While a shell of his former self, Batum is still a savvy silent operator who can smoothen out the offense with his three-point shooting, basketball IQ, and connective passing and bolster the defense with his length and smarts.