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Around The World: April 4

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.7

    April 4

    Trail Blazers: Blazers Blow Past Dallas
    "If the playoffs started today, it would indeed be the Blazers and Mavericks in the first round. By saying Dallas would be the best first-round opponent for Portland doesn't imply it would be easy, of course. But, now that Gerald Wallace is on board, the matchups seem to perhaps favor the Blazers. Also, when you consider that Dallas has won only 18 times in Portland in their history, you'd have to like the odds that the Blazers could hold serve at home. The Blazers won twice in Dallas last season, and lost both games in Dallas earlier this season by a total of 7 points."

    Oregon Live: LaMarcus Aldridge has had edge over Dirk Nowitzki each time Trail Blazers and Mavericks played
    "Aldridge also does a good job of defending Nowitzi as his length and athleticism allows him to contest Nowitzki's famously awkward fallaway jump shot even when Nowitzki steps out behind the three-point arc. Nowitzki only occasionally defends Aldridge as Dallas assigns that task to its centers and also relies heavily on a zone."

    Columbian: Counting Blazers playoff possibilities
    "Jason Kidd, devoid of most of his speed, is the perfect point guard for Andre Miller to have to guard. Plus, unlike the Lakers or the Thunder, the Mavs’ post game doesn’t stand to exploit Portland’s less-than-stellar interior defense, a flaw that will very likely hinder any deep postseason aspirations they may have."

    Columbian: Blazers: Report Card (week of March 28-April 2)
    "They went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter and never again relinquished the lead. They clamped down on Kevin Durant and got him to miss 12 straight shots. It didn’t prove that Portland’s going to make any kind of run in the postseason, but to say it has beat the Spurs, the Bulls, the Thunder, the Magic, the Heat and the Nuggets over the past couple months certainly suggests the Blazers are capable of doing something."

    Rip City Project: Game 77 Recap: Blazers 104, Mavericks 96;
    "Another big bench factor Sunday, and for this home stand and home stretch, was Rudy Fernandez. Rudy seems to play the best when he is just on the edge of being totally out of control. He doesn’t have a gear other than full speed. This can be bad, leading to poor shots and turnovers on offense and missed assignments on defense, but when it works it can often be the difference maker. Rudy produced one of Sunday’s most memorable plays, chasing a loose ball into the first row of court side seats, turning a leaping save into a fast break layup for Gerald Wallace, and showed with that play one of the reasons everybody wants him to stay in Portland. Hopefully he took to heart the “Rudy” cheers coming from the upper deck in the third quarter. Rudy’s energy helped Portland take an 18-point lead into the night’s final frame, taking some of the tension out the game’s last 12 minutes."

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 104, Mavericks 96
    "Tonight, Wallace was one of the reasons that the Blazers were able to work so hard to deny Nowitzki throughout the game. He's a great team defender, he's opportunistic, he will instinctively cover if something goes wrong and he can step in and play Nowitzki himself when necessary. When he does that, he makes Nowitzki earn every inch. That's a difference-maker not only on a night like tonight when Dallas was struggling to get good ball and player movement but also in a slow-down playoff series where the ability to meaningfully decrease Nowitzki's efficiency is the surest route to stealing a victory on the road or pulling off a series upset."

    SLAM: Rookie Report: Redraft
    "Monroe has arguably been the best Eastern Conference rookie since January. After logging 15-20 minutes a game earlier in the season, he’s made his way into the Pistons starting lineup. His numbers have increased every month—with 10 double-doubles in his last 17 games, his development is coming along smoothly. Learning from Elton Brand and playing alongside Andre Iguodala and pass-first point guard Jrue Holiday would make Monroe a good fit in Philadelphia. DeMarcus Cousins could also be considered for this spot, but I see Monroe’s versatility as a better fit for the 76ers."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Zach Randolph is the man in the middle of the Grizzlies' strong playoff push
    "Carl Landry kept hollering 'Help! Help!'" Randolph tells the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Ronald Tillery. "I told him 'Man, call 911 if you're looking for help.'"

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 4.4 (Weekend Recap)
    "Marc Gasol (4/2): 5-7 FG (71%), 10 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk; Gasol has been putting up better overall numbers lately. Since March 23, he’s averaged 11.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals and two blocks per game."

    ESPN: Power Rankings
    "The Blazers wholly deserve their Team No One Wants To See playoff status. Not just because of years of injury hell but because they took on money at the trade deadline. Good to see the rare go-for-it teams rewarded."

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "Regrets? They don't have a few -- perhaps the only one Denver has now is not making the Melo deal earlier. A balanced attack with strong up-front performances from K-Mart, Danilo Gallinari and Nene is among the encouraging signs with the playoffs approaching. "


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