Charlotte Hornets: Borrego wants a more aggressive Batum

Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Prior to Friday night’s loss to Portland, Charlotte Hornets Head Coach James Borrego said he’d like to see Nicolas Batum be more aggressive offensively.

It was a brutal night of basketball for the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, where the team lost by 31 points to the Portland Trail Blazers. James Borrego could not have been happy with the production from anyone, including Nicolas Batum.

Batum had eight points and five rebounds in 23 minutes of action vs Portland. During his pregame interview, Borrego said he would like to see Batum be more aggressive on the offensive end, but he did not get his wish in this loss.

“I think he’s competing.” Borrego said of Batum. “He’s doing what we’re asking him to do, he’s shooting the ball very well right now, close to 40 percent from three… I think we’d like those attempts up even more for him… This is a new role for him, a new system for him, but I think he’s handled himself very well.”

I certainly agree with Borrego here. Batum has been pretty efficient this season, but he’s not looking to shoot or assert himself offensively very much. He’s averaging 8.9 points on the season while shooting 46 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.

Again, those are good percentages. The problem is his attempts. Batum is averaging 7.3 shot attempts per game, his lowest amount of shots since his second season with Portland, when he was 21 years old.

I’d like to see him taking double-digit shot attempts every game. He’s never gotten to the free-throw line very much during his career, but he’s a good three-point shooter, he has the length to finish inside and he’s crafty with his mid-range game.

In 41 games this season, Batum has had double-digit shot attempts in just eight of those games. Just think about that for a second. Eight games. He took 14 shots on December 14th against the New York Knicks and has been passive ever since then.

The starting unit could really use another offensive player that is capable of creating his own offense. Batum can do that, but he’s playing a little bit too unselfish right now.

There are a lot of people that will look at the stat sheet and freak out at Batum’s scoring average. I understand that he isn’t playing like a $120 million player, but he’s been solid this season, and certainly has room for improvement.

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The Charlotte Hornets would be better off with a more aggressive Nicolas Batum. Hopefully he will look to shoot and score more often moving forward, as it would certainly benefit the team.