Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
• We want you to believe in Nicolas Batum.
• Along those lines, Dwight Janynes wants to know: "Why not start Nic Batum?"
It’s crazy to wait on this thing. Batum has the most potential of ANY of the young Trail Blazers. The kid is downright Pippen-esqe — highly skilled and magnetic to watch at both ends of the floor. You can’t take your eyes off him.
• Mike Barrett says that Nic Batum is untouchable.
Last season when Portland was taking offers at the trade deadline, the one request that would end any potential talks immediately would be when a team would ask for Batum in a deal. Charlotte was rumored to be one of the teams who badly wanted a shot at Batum. It didn't happen then, and no one is getting him now.
• Continuing our Batum love fest, check out this very thorough post by Ben Golliver detailing Batum's defense on Dirk Nowitzki.
• Jason Quick has this quote from Aldridge regarding Rudy and Nic.
"They have given us life," said LaMarcus Aldridge, who led the Blazers with 17 points. "Nic does everything for us, guarding anyone, running around on offense, and Rudy does what he does: makes shots."
• Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer lauds a Roy-less performance.
For a Portland team working without Brandon Roy to drop 118 points per 100 possessions on one of the better defenses in the NBA, a defense that only gives up 102 points per 100 after this contest? It might be one of the better team-based performances of the season.
• Juwan Howard chastises the team for bad sportsmanship. Maybe he just hates Chalupas?
• Rip City Project says that last night’s game was the closest thing to a blowout since the November 23rd victory over the Chicago Bulls.
• A Stern Warning has a Patty Mills sighting.