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Around The World: February 23

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

    February 23

    Trail Blazers: The new couple at the party will balance minutes for the playoffs
    "In my experience with the Trail Blazers, I have always hoped that none of our players would have to play more than 36 minutes a game. It is my hope that with the return of Roy and Camby, we have enough depth that Coach Nate will be able to cut down the minutes of some of our players so that they will be fresher for the playoffs.''

    Oregon Live: NBA Read & React: Utah to trade Deron Williams to Nets in blockbuster trade
    "Williams was a key piece in Utah's resurgence. After the Jazz missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons starting in 2003-04 -- including in Williams' rookie season, 2005-06 -- they've made the postseason the last four seasons, powered by the pairing of Williams and All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer."

    Columbian: Blazers have their own questions to answer
    “I love it here. If I would have known that I’d be in this situation, I wouldn’t have signed my extension last year,” Camby said. “It’s kind of funny how last year they were courting me to stay — brought my wife out here, set her up to go the spa, all this great stuff and trying to woo us to stay here. That’s what I took it as. They really wanted to me be here.”

    Rip City Project: So…what’s left?
    "The Blazers went into the All-Star break at eight games over .500 and in fifth place in the West, which would have been unthinkable as recently as two months ago. The team is on a six-game winning streak, currently the longest in the NBA. We’re still waiting on whatever Rich Cho may or may not do at the trading deadline, but regardless, the Blazers’ remaining schedule of games through April is no cake walk. The teams they have left can be roughly broken into three classes: the contenders, who are clearly superior to Portland and have a legitimate shot at making a deep playoff run (something that can’t be said about the Blazers right now); the equal-or-moderately-lesser teams (mid-level playoffs or high lottery teams that Portland should be able to beat on paper but shouldn’t take for granted); and the bottom-feeders (think Minnesota or Toronto, both of whom the Blazers are done playing for the year)."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Nets get their star, in Deron Williams
    "Most thought the Jazz -- with Sloan losing the supposed battle of wills with Williams -- would continue to tie their NBA future to that of DW's. But with the league hearing little out of Utah about Williams' apparent availability, the Jazz were nonetheless apparently fearful of him leaving for nothing in the summer of 2012 as a free agent. Now, the team is in clear start-over mode -- unless the Jazz decide to move forward with Harris and the triptych of power forwards in Jefferson, Paul Millsap and rookie Favors."

    Denver Post: Nuggets apologize to Billups after trading him
    "I want to offer a personal apology to the Billups family," Kroenke said. "They mean the world to me personally, and I know that Chauncey means everything to Denver. And when I say Denver, I mean just Denver basketball on every level. He is Denver basketball. He was a high school star here, he was a college star here, he was a professional star here. It was an incredibly tough decision to include him in this trade."

    The Basketball Jones: Choosing a bandwagon team for the rest of the season
    "The next two teams on this list are distinct cases unto themselves. As recently as a few weeks ago, I would have pegged the Blazers to surely be at the bottom of this list, with the latest developments in the soul-crushing Brandon Roy and Greg Oden sagas seemingly dooming the franchise to a much earlier-than-expected rebuilding mode. But not only has the team stayed afloat, they’re pushing for the five seed in the West, and it’s primarily due to one factor — LaMarcus Aldridge. If you had asked me what was more likely at the beginning of the season, Aldridge developing into the West’s most unstoppable power forward, or LeBron signing with the Clippers, I probably would’ve gone Bron/Clips (hey, it’s still LA, sort of). But sure enough, Portland has won six straight, and Aldridge has been practically MVP-worthy for the streak, averaging nearly 32 points a game in possibly the greatest Post-All-Star-Snub stretch in league history.''

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "With the ex-Knicks not yet arrived, the Nuggets played eight and beat their nearest West playoff competitor with relative ease. Ty Lawson staked a claim on the PG job with 21 points, seven assists, six steals and five boards in the 120-107 win over Memphis. ''

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 2.23
    "Brandon Jennings finished with 27 points, three rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two blocks and two three-pointers last night. He shot 41 percent (7-17) from the field, 92 percent (11-12) from the free-throw line and had just one turnover. Jennings has been pretty solid for much of this month so far, but his Achilles heel continues to be his poor shooting from the field. This isn’t going to change anytime soon."


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