How much pressure is on Nicolas Batum right now?
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for the season, the Charlotte Hornets need Nicolas Batum to have an extremely productive season.
The good news is he's totally capable of pulling it off. Batum has one of the most complete skill-sets in the league. He can run a pick-and-roll, score from different spots all over the court, defend multiple positions and rebound at a high level.
The bad news is Batum just had the worst year of his career. He shot 32.4 percent from behind the three-point line and just 40 percent from the floor. Which Batum will Charlotte get? SB Nation's At the Hive takes a closer look right here:
The Hornets may be in trouble. They need Batum to perform as a secondary ball-handler and a primary perimeter defender. Is he up for it? Only time will tell.
The Hornets are going to rely on Batum to stretch the floor and open up space for everyone else to operate. That's the obvious one, however. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist essentially out for the year, it will be up to Batum to pester the other team's best wing player defensively. It's not going to be easy to replace a player who makes your offense and defense better, but Batum is the best bet. Fortunately, Batum is a capable defender, and has historically been a more productive offensive player.