Nicolas Batum is playing at his best and the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t be any better 21 games into the 2015-16 season.
As the Cameroonian-French player finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists – his first triple-double of the season – on Wednesday night, Charlotte not only trounced Miami 99-81, but they also improved their mark to 13-8.
And more importantly, Batum did his damage while matching his season-low of 28 minutes, all while putting together his fifth career triple-double.
Batum who joined the Hornets in the off-season as part of a roster overhaul in a trade with Portland for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh. He will become a free-agent in the summer 2016.
He seems to have reinvented his game and is currently averaging a career-high 16.6 points per game and the Hornets look more like a real playoff contender than ever before.
They currently rank second in the Eastern Conference and Batum continues to put up big numbers.
If one asks Hornets point guard Kemba Walker how much of an impact Batum is making on the team his answers say it all.
“He changes everything. For everyone,” Walker.
Even Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford agrees that Batum has become a major factor for his team.
“When he catches the ball,” Clifford says, “he knows where everybody is. He knows not to throw it to guys who can’t do it where they are, and he knows where to give it to guys where they can do something.”
Batum’s performance was the best news on a day the NBA suspended Hornets centre Al Jefferson for five games due to a violation of the league’s anti-drug policy.
Next up for Batum and the Hornets, a visit to Memphis on Friday.