Nicolas Batum has had trouble finding any sort of consistency this season for the Portland Trail Blazers, but it isn't often that the French swingman finds himself on the bench at the end of close games. That was the case again on Monday night, but he unfortunately suffered an apparent knee injury on a drive to the bucket.
Batum's knee appeared to give out while making his move toward the basket, forcing him to sort of crumble and clutch his left knee in pain. Batum will undergo an MRI on Tuesday, according to SB Nation's Blazer's Edge, but the post-game comments didn't really allow for too much speculation.
"I don't know," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said during a post-game interview televised by Comcast SportsNet Northwest. "I haven't even checked on Nic. He got tripped and I don't know if he had knee on knee or what happened on that play... We wanted to see if Nic could get to the basket quickly. The hand off was there. He was trying to get there and tripped."
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reported that Batum said after the game that he is feeling pain "in his left knee is on the outside, near his kneecap." He further reported that Batum said he was a "little" worried but that he said, "I don't think it will be too bad. But we'll see tomorrow."Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported that Batum said that, "on a scale from 1 to 10, the pain in his knee is a 5. Says he just twisted it."
Video of the incident, which came late in the fourth quarter, is embedded below. The Blazers would go on to lose the game 93-89 after Batum had a chance to tie the game at 89 points apiece.