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Clippers call veteran Nicolas Batum ‘our personal handyman’

Teammates have high praise for versatile Frenchman.

LA Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

When you think of a good experienced newcomer on an NBA team, what’s the term that comes to mind for you? A veteran, perhaps. But maybe something more descriptive?

How about “our personal handyman”?

That’s what DeMarcus Cousins used to describe Nicolas Batum’s utility for the LA Clippers, following Thursday’s commanding win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

So where did Boogie get the “handyman” moniker? We’ll let him explain.

“Ah man he’s probably the most versatile guy on this team when it just comes to being all over the floor,” Cousins said after the win over the Lakers. “Can knock down shots, he can defend, he can block shots, there’s nothing he can’t do. He’s our personal, I don’t even know the word, like our personal handyman. Whenever we need something to fix we can throw him in there and he’s going to get it done. Grateful to have him on this team.”

Batum played about 20 minutes in the win over the Lakers, and did a little bit of everything off the bench, grabbing six rebounds, a steal, a block and five points on 50 percent shooting.

Those aren’t headline-grabbing statistics, but it’s the kind of contributions contenders need on their roster.

“I mean he’s a vet. He’s been in this league for a while. He’s contributed in many ways but guarding some of the best players on the floor, rebounding, getting out in transition, spreading the floor for us, making threes, being vocal at times when he sees things. He’s just a vet. He’s a pro. He comes in, gets his shots up, works every day and he’s kind of like a glue guy,” said Kawhi Leonard about Batum’s contributions.

With the Clippers seemingly looking to secure the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference at this stage of the regular season, with the playoffs approaching, Paul George said the team chemistry — something talked about early and often coming into the preseason — seems to be blossoming.

“It’s a good chemistry group. We want to see the next person do well. Every person on the bench or on the court has the full support of one another. It’s just great when we’re having fun. Everybody is in great spirits here. And it’s contagious, you know what I mean. It’s contagious,” he said.

And whether Batum will be asked to defend any position on the floor, hit a couple timely 3-pointers a game, or who knows, maybe hang some shelves or change a light bulb, the hope is that the glue guy, the handyman, will help the Clippers play their part in a deep playoff run, and beyond.