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Around The World: March 30

03/31/11
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.3

    March 31

    Trail Blazers: Playoff Picture: March 31st
    "The Houston Rockets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 97-108 in Philadelphia. The Rockets did the Trail Blazers a big favor by losing last night, their losses contribute to the speed at which we clinch a playoff berth. But in turn they hurt their own chances of playing in the post season. Houston is still in 9th in the West. They’re three full games behind Memphis in 8th."

    DIME: The Trail Blazers Have The West Right Where They Want Them
    "With all this excitement (and despite the musty smell), I’ve decided to spend a little bit of time highlighting a few playoff-bound teams – more specifically ones that folks aren’t talking about – that are looking scarier and scarier to matchup with in a seven-game series. In our first installment, let’s go out to the left coast for a visit to what’s been described as the Beer Capital, the Skateboard Capital, and of course, the Roof Moss Capital of the World. That’s right, you guessed it: Rip City, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. The number one team in the Western Conference (aside from those Lakers), that right now, I just would not want to play."

    The Basketball Jones: Savvy/Shabby: Miller vs. Cook
    "In their game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Portland Trail Blazers found themselves up by three points with about 2:30 left in the game. After LaMarcus Aldridge gets double teamed, Andre Miller is able to find the open spot, get the pass, and set up the game clinching three-point shot."

    NBA: Nicolas Batum, how do you rate on the Horry Scale?
    "This was a very difficult play and a very simple one all at the same time. On the one hand, you only have 0.9 seconds to work with, so the lob has to be right on the money to allow Batum to get the shot off (technically there is enough time allowed to catch and shoot, but practically speaking the tip-in is Batum’s only choice). On the other hand, Batum has at least a six-inch advantage on Tony Parker, so he meets with very little resistance once the lob arrives. I think that’s nitpicking though — Andre Miller is generally recognized as the best lob-tosser in the NBA*, and he puts this one right on the money, making a very difficult play look very easy."

    Oregon Live: Fourth quarter offense is starting to become a concern again for Trail Blazers
    "He baited me," Miller tells Quick. "He was running alongside me and he got me to spin right into his help (man). It was a good play, a good defensive play. I kind of rushed it a little bit, should have waited for everybody to catch up. But I was trying to save some of that clock."

    Rip City Project: Game 75 Recap: Hornets 95, Blazers 91
    "This really plays into one thing that was pretty apparent in all three of these last road games. Portland is small. Starting Gerald Wallace was a great move. He needs to be on the floor as much as possible, and Marcus Camby is realistically going to give only about 20 good minutes a night regardless if he starts or comes off the bench. The problem is deeper than that. Or to be more precise, the problem is is that Portland is not deeper than that. Sunday in OKC, and Monday in San Antonio, Portland was exposed inside. They couldn’t stop the drive or the play of the pivot positions, and they were more than neutralized on the defensive glass. Again on Wednesday, the Blazers were dominated inside. Emeka Okafor had a huge offensive rebound and put-back in the fourth quarter, as did Willie Green. Okafor’s follow effectively killed Portland’s attempt at a closing rally, and was NOLA’s second to last field goal of the evening before finishing it off from the free throw line."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 3.31
    "Deron Williams: 7-19 FG (39%), 6-6 FT (100%), 2 threes, 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 TO; He played 36:57 and apparently felt fine after the game. Get him back in your starting lineups but keep a close eye on reports about his health, as a shutdown is still a slight possibility."

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "His run of strong games came to a crashing thud in Louisiana. Averaging 16.8 points over his previous five games, Batum went 0-for-7 from the field, pulling down just one board in the 95-91 loss to New Orleans."

           


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