France was upset for the second time in the EuroBasket tournament today as they fell to the Lithuanian team 62-76. There was no clear leader for the French today. Tony Parker put up 11 points in 30 minutes of play while Boris Diaw (yes that Boris Diaw) acted as the team’s most valuable facilitator with 6 assists. In fact Diaw was the only French player to exceed two dimes. Their team basketball was iffy to say the least.

But let’s not worry about that. What I’d like to look at is Nicolas Batum; specifically his shooting. Whether by some cosmic fluke or detailed science his struggles have affected the French team in the same way they affect the Blazers. When Batum is on the team does well when he’s not… There are problems.

I think a big part of this is Batum’s caliber of play. He’s too good to be considered just a role player but not good enough to be a team’s leader. He’s a high-level glue guy. When he’s on it can push his team into the winner’s circle but when he can’t get things going the outcome is disastrous. It’s sort of a mid-level dependency. His consistency issues have been the biggest criticism lobbied against him when disapproving of his lucrative contract with Portland.

Today Batum shot 3/10 from the field and 0/4 from deep totaling 8 points on 30% shooting. He marked just 1 assist paired with 3 turnovers. This was one of those days where he wasn’t on his game and just like the Blazers the French team paid for it. That isn’t to put the blame on Batum’s shoulders necessarily but to identify a correlation.