Nic Batum at Shootaround: Struggling Through Wrist Injury
DALLAS – The Portland Trail Blazers will place Ronnie Price (ankle) on the inactive list and Sasha Pavlovic (foot) says he's not quite ready to play tonight vs the Dallas Mavericks.
Nicolas Batum (wrist) will play despite saying the pain hasn't gotten any better since they played the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night.
“I can't say it's [gotten] better, I can't say it worse this time,” Batum said. “It's the same pain. When I shoot, I still feel it a lot. So, I got to play through it.”
Batum says his ailing wrist hurts when he shoots, dribbles and passes. Sounds like the only way he may be effective tonight is on the defensive end of the court.
“Half your game is playing defense,” Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts said. “...Even with his wrist hurting, he can be an effective facilitator, he can rebound. Last game his wrist was hurting him but he still hit a jumper in good rhythm. He can still be effective for us.”
Stotts will be attempt to play some defense of his own tonight. Rick Carlisle, the coach Stotts coached/studied under here in Dallas, is one win from reaching the 500th win milestone, only 27 other coaches have been able to reach that number.
The Trail Blazers Head Coach is a giving man, but he isn't about to hand an old pal a “W” for good measures.
“He's going to have plenty of chances to get that 500th win, but it'll be after tonight,” Stotts said while smiling. He later added the milestone “Is important and I think Rick has established himself as one of the premiere coaches in our league. He's got a championship, he's been coach of the year. He just continues to show throughout his career what a good coach he is.”
Tonight's game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet at 5:30 p.m. and on KPOJ 620 AM radio.