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Nicolas Batum: “It was time to spend the second”

Accompanied by his son Ayden in the press room, Nicholas Batum returned to his ultra complete match against Lithuania on Wednesday evening in Orléans.

Author of a performance with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 interceptions and 1 against (Collet ensuring that there was at least one or even two more which were not counted), the captain of the Team France multiplied throughout the evening, with a +26 in the end, the best +/- of the match. And by far !

Nicolas, what are your first reactions to this fourth success in as many preparation matches?

“In the positives, we end up at 90 points, without our No. 1 weapon [en attaque]Evan [Fournier]. We found collective solutions to make up for his absence. Something that was not necessarily obvious, but we managed to do it. Nando has really raised his level of play. He and I, after three fitness matches, we didn’t let go! Collectively, in attack, it was good. We made 23 assists out of 30 baskets, the ball moved well. Defensively, it was very good, but we have to finish the actions. They’re scoring 72 points and they have 13 offensive rebounds, which gives them 14 second-chance points. I think we should limit it to half. We have a very good defensive team, we know that, but the very good defenses finish the actions [et prennent les rebonds]. It’s up to us to correct that on Friday, in an atmosphere that will be completely different. »

You made the difference at the end of the first half on a scathing 16-0, and you gave it a blow when you returned from the locker room at the start of the third quarter, how do you explain this tricolor tidal wave which has drowned the Lithuanians?

“This is the period when they no longer took any offensive rebounds! At the end of the second quarter, and at the start of the third. When we finish the defensive action, take the rebound or intercept, afterwards, we have so many offensive weapons, so many solutions, we play with a lot of alternation. Between Nando who knows what to do, who knows how to set up the game for Rudy, Mous, Guerschon, Elie, Yak… The bench also had a good match. If we do the job defensively, in attack, we don’t have to ask ourselves any questions. We managed to get 90 points without Evan. You have to keep working, but the osmosis is there. »

“We know very well that the opponent will crack. That’s when you shouldn’t let go.”

Moustapha Fall explained to us after the match against Venezuela that your team was wearing down its opponents by dint of playing physical all the time, and that was especially visible in the second half, with a widening gap. Do you subscribe to this opinion?

“I’ve been in the France team for fifteen years now and in recent years, after Tony Parker, that’s what we tried to put in place. This is where we wear out the adversary. We know very well that the opponent will crack. This is when you shouldn’t let go. We have twelve players who can contribute, so we have to use everyone. »

Individually, we felt you were much more concerned and aggressive in this match against Lithuania, was it Batman’s awakening?

“I was more in the collective implementation in the first three games. Especially putting Evan in place. After the season he had, I was more in that perspective. Put Evan, Rudy in place, get the collective going again. I wanted to let the game come to me and really get into this collective cohesion. But [hier soir], as the adversity was higher, I thought it was also the time to pass the second. Start getting in better shape for the deadlines coming up in a fortnight. »

Interview in Orléans

Photo credit : Lenoir/The Agency/FFBB

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