Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets

Nicolas Batum denies saying Derrick Rose can’t play defense

Leave a comment

Talking to the media Thursday night after the Trail Blazers knocked off the Bulls, Portland’s Nicolas Batum said the game plan was to have Andre Miller go right at Derrick Rose because he can’t play defense — except now he says he didn’t say that at all.

A couple people reported last Monday night, including Joe Freeman of the Oregonian who had the full quote:

“We know that Derrick Rose is a good offensive player,” Batum said. “But you have to play defense, too. He can’t guard Dre. You gotta play defense. He can’t play defense, so that’s why we put Dre inside and try to attack him. He did a great job. Had 25 (points) and 11 (assists) tonight.”

Tuesday on twitter Batum denied it all:

I’m sorry for the D.Rose fans and bulls fans, but I never said that he can’t play defense, NEVER…trust me

We want to cut Batum some slack here — he’s French, English is not his native language. But he should realize that those things reporters stick in front of him during interviews are digital recorders. You can be sure there is an audio file of his actual statement somewhere.

By the way, if going at Rose was the strategy, it was a good one. Rose can still be exploited on defense by some point guards. And Andre Miller is apparently one of them.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
Leave a comment

LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.

Derrick Rose’s eye still swollen, will rejoin Bulls Monday

Derrick Rose
Leave a comment

Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.

Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.