After missing three games due to a personal matter, Batum only scored three points with three rebounds and three assists, but he was a plus-25 in his 23:49 of playing time. He did a lot of little things and he was terrific on the defensive end as well.
“He’s got three points and he’s a plus-25,” coach Nick Nurse said after the win. “Again, he’s just such a glue guy and a multiple defender and a passer, and the one 3 he does make kind of sparked us and got us going so really good. He did do some short stints there. He just kind of needed those.”
Batum has been something of a connector to this offense. He threw a perfect entry pass to Joel Embiid down low and that’s an underrated part of an offense in terms of having things run as smoothly as possible. He has been helpful for Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris as well on offense. Just being that glue that keeps everyone connected and together.
“It’s been my role the last three years,” said Batum. “When you play with players like that around you, I just try to do the little stuff like what Tyrese wants…Joel, Tobias, and I think I find this role like three years ago. It’s been working out pretty well so far so I’m gonna try to do the same.”
Batum has become a favorite of his teammates in a short amount of time. Although he has missed time for personal reasons, the Sixers have been fond of him and what he brings not only on the court, but in the locker room as well.
“This is my 16th year so I have to find a way to stay in the same and keep playing because there’s a lot of young guys coming up in this league so how can I stay at 34 almost 35 like being effective for a good team and I love this role,” Batum added. “I love it so I’m gonna be winning, guys are happy around me, so I love it.”
Doing whatever is asked of him is something Batum has been known for in his entire career. Having somebody like him on the roster and still being able to move the way he has been able to is important for the Sixers.
“I’ve always been like this,” the veteran finished. “I’ve always been that kind of guy since I’m a teenager. Back in Europe, I was like MVP of EuroBasket under 18, I was averaging 12 points because I was doing everything. That’s pretty much been who I was my whole life and just playing the game that way.”