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Around The World: February 14

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.5

    February 14

    Columbian: Dante Unmasked
    “Without Dante, we would really be at a disadvantage. We can bring in his energy and toughness, he’s guarding bigger guys, he’s knocking down shots and that has allowed us to stay competitive,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “What he does, the average person watching the game won’t see or feel, but the coaching staff and the team does.”

    Oregon Live: Portland 105, Detroit 100: Learning how to close the deal
    "I think you can grow from a game like that," Aldridge said. "As a team, we're learning how to close out games. Earlier in the season, we went through a stretch where we couldn't score in the fourth and couldn't close out games. But I think we've done a total 360 from then as far ... getting the stops and making the plays and learning how to win down the stretch."

    Rip City Project: Game 54 Recap: Blazers 105, Pistons 100
    "Then, of course, there was the one thing that most obviously put the Portland over the top Sunday night. That was the play of LaMarcus Aldridge. It’s an interesting development that at this point in the season we should be more shocked when LA doesn’t go for 30, and basically kill teams in the final period of games. At first he proved he could play, then he showed that he could dominate, now he’s showing that he can be the go-to guy every night. In the fourth quarter LA had his jumper going, and proved, once again, to be the difference. LaMarcus finished with 36 points, hitting 12-0f-17 from the floor, and missing only one of his 13 free throw attempts. In each of the last three nights LA has eclipsed 30 points, with the Blazers winning each time. In fact, in the last 13 games, LaMarcus has scored less than 20 points only four times. Those are also the only four times the Blazers have lost since the 15th of January. Not to belabor the point, but getting LA going is a pretty important part of Portland winning games."

    Blazersedge: Game 54 Recap: Blazers 105, Pistons 100
    "It's not just the slow starts that are aggravating in games like this. Letting the Pistons shoot 50% at any point in the game following their second field goal attempt is near-unconscionable. Portland's guards were brutally bad on defense, getting blown by like Amish buggies. Detroit shot 51.5% for the game. The last time they saw that number was probably at the Ben Wallace free-throw shooting classic."

    NBA: As deadline nears, former GM Kerr dishes on possible deals
    "That's one team that I can see make a move," Kerr said. "They're saddled with some bad, long-term deals. I could see them doing something. Cho when he got there made a pretty big deal about how there was going to be change, and they've been waiting for change and nothing's happened."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: 'Big Baby' comes up just a bit short against the Heat
    "But it was a very bright spot indeed, especially if you like jokes, smiles, Mike Breen starting to explode then stifling himself, teammates laughing so hard that they have to cover their faces with towels, and Jeff Van Gundy referencing conversations with Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas about shotblocking friendly ghosts — and if you don't like those things, then boy, I just don't know what to tell you.''

    Ball Don't Lie: Mike D'Antoni doesn't want to hear chants for Melo at MSG
    "On the other hand, maybe the impact of these chants is being overblown. NBA players deal with boos and taunts during every road game, and while they don't expect to hear those things at home, it's not as if the Melo chants are direct expressions of disappointment in their play. Can you blame Knicks fans for wanting Anthony in blue and orange? He's very good!''

    ESPN: Power Rankings
    "Maybe it'd be wiser for B-Roy to wait until after the All-Star break to launch his comeback. LaMarcus Aldridge just topped 35 points for the third straight game; Drexler is the only other Blazer who knows that feeling. Ever."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 2.14 (Weekend Recap)
    "LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 36.5 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists, two steals and 1.5 blocks in two games over the weekend. He shot 62 percent from the field, 84 percent from the line and averaged 2.5 turnovers. Aldridge has been on a tear lately and is posting top-five averages in the last month. His owners have to hope that things don’t change too much once Marcus Camby returns later this week."

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "I'm not a loser," Scott said. "I'm not used to this. I'm very used to winning. But I never say, 'Woe is me.' I've just never been that type of guy. ... It's going to take us a little time, but we're going to get back to it."


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