NEW YORK–The Philadelphia 76ers welcomed Nic Batum back to the lineup on Sunday afternoon and he helped them knock off the Brooklyn Nets 121-99 on the road. Batum had missed the previous three games due to personal reasons.
In his return on Sunday, Batum had three points, three rebounds, and three assists, but he was terrific on the defensive end and he was a plus-25 in 23:49 of playing time. The impact he had on the game was obvious in this one.
“The first five minutes was pretty weird,” Batum admitted after the win. “Just trying to get my rhythm back. I just didn’t try to do too much. Just tried to be in the flow of the game, rhythm of the game, just tried to do the simple stuff on offense and defense, and it worked out. It’s a great team win.”
Before the game, coach Nick Nurse expressed his happiness that Batum is back and is hopeful that the veteran is now back for good after two instances of him going back and forth. Now back with the Sixers, Batum is hoping for the same.
“I hope I’m back for good,” he said. “My wife has been through some health issues the last couple weeks before the trade so that was already the plan when I was with the Clippers. The trade happened and I told the Sixers about it. That was always the plan so it’s not something very fun to go through, but we have to go through it as a family.”
Batum opened up on the situation, but he also knows he must take care of his family when the time calls for it.
“I’m talking about it right now because I know that it’s private stuff, but I can’t really like say what it is, but I had to be there and it’s been going on for a couple weeks now, but hey, sometimes you have to do what you gotta do for your family,” Batum added. “It should be OK now. She’s gonna be fine and we’ll be fine.”
As far as his play on the floor, Batum has been helpful and Joel Embiid sees how important he is to the team.
“He’s the key,” the big fella stated. “He’s special. With the way we play, he just fits everything we need. Great shooter, great defender, great passer, great basketball IQ. He just fits everything we need.”