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Around The World: December 20

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    December 20 Video:Dec 19: Trail Blazers vs. Jazz Highlights Video: Wesley Matthews Post-Game Video: Dec 19: Interviews From Shootaround

    Trail Blazers: Transcript: Paul Allen Answers Questions From The Media
    "You know I think we’ve got a lot of talent. I think adding Jamal (Crawford) helps. Raymond (Felton), he’s a different style of point guard than we’ve had. We’ve got additions of (Craig) Smith and Kurt Thomas give us some toughness. We’ve got returning players and some X factors like Elliot Williams and it will be interesting to see what Nolan does as backup point guard, too. I’m always excited for the season to start and it’s no different this year."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers 110, Jazz 90: Post Game Quotes
    “I thought it was a good start. I liked our defense, I thought we were active. The second quarter, we gave up some offensive boards, I think we gave up about ten offensive boards with that second group but I liked the defensive intensity. Then early offense – I thought those guys did a good job of pushing the ball. Our spacing was good. We had good ball movement. We should have had more points but we didn’t knock down some shots – 6 of 23 from the three point line and I think ten of those three’s were wide open shots. We’re going to have to knock down those shots but I like the start, especially on the defensive end of the floor.”

    Trail Blazers: Looking Up: Jamal Does It All
    “I think more people see me more for my scoring. To me, I try to make plays,” Crawford said. “And the fact that I can rack so many assists, I’m looking for those guys. It’s not just about scoring, you do what’s needed that night. There will be nights where I score big, but I also want to be a huge facilitator as well when the situation calls for it.”

    Trail Blazers: Barrett: A Solid First Night
    "As Nate McMillan always preaches, if you're going to be a running team it starts with defense and rebounding. When you've got Wesley Matthews and Gerald Wallace out on the edges, aggressively going after every pass, looking to trap at every opportunity, and diving after every loose ball, you're going to cause havoc. At the very least, you're going to force tempo, and take your opponent out of their comfort zone. That leads to offensive opportunities."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers play up-tempo 1st quarter against Utah Jazz; many things for fans to like
    "You really saw the Blazers playing the faster-paced style Nate McMillan has been trying to instill in the first quarter, when Portland outscored the Jazz 32-19. True, the Blazers registered zero fast-break baskets in the quarter by the official scorekeeper, but you could really see the faster tempo by how quickly the Blazers were getting shots up."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers beat Jazz: Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford and Elliot Williams talk about the win (video)
    "Crawford said most people probably know him as a scorer, but he takes pride in the seven assists he handed out in his Blazers debut. Felton said he and Gerald Wallace created some steals, and that became contagious. Then late in the game, in came Williams, who went 5 for 7 shooting and made all three of his three-point attempts on the way to 13 points in 12 minutes."

    Portland Tribune: Blazers look fast, deep in preseason debut
    “I’m known more for my scoring, but I try to make plays,” said the 11-year veteran, who signed a two-year, $10-million free-agent contract last week. “I was proud that I can rack up some assists. I’m looking for those guys.

    Rip City Project: Preseason Game 1 Recap: Blazers 110, Jazz 90
    "Fortunately, whether you think it’s a bad idea to read too much into one preseason game or not, Portland does look at least a little ahead of the curve. A lot of the positives were things that come from playing team ball, making the extra pass, passing up a good shot to get a great shot, moving the ball into the key then out to the perimeter to try and stretch the defense. And on the other side, some of the negative stuff can be fixed with more court time and games, things like missing open jumpers etc."

    ESPN: Hollinger: Blazers Are "Standard One-And-Done Playoff Outfit"
    "Up front, Aldridge should make his first All-Star team, but he won't have a ton of help. Marcus Camby was running on fumes last season, and Kurt Thomas and Craig Smith are the only other frontcourt bodies. I expect to see Portland play small with Wallace or Batum at the 4 quite a bit. Luke Babbitt, Portland's 2010 first-round pick, may also get some run, although he looked awful in his few chances a season ago."

    Blazersedge: Random Impressions from Preseason Game #1: Blazers 110, Jazz 90
    "Three young guys had memorable nights. Nolan Smith hit a couple of nice shots and looked like he was at least halfway into the season already...still rookie-ish but confident and smart rookie-ish. Elliot Williams just caught on fire, shooting off the dribble and screens both. E-Will went 5-7 for 13 points in 12 minutes. If he can drive and dish too...woot! This guy has the strut going on already. (Again, though...Jazz. And Jazz scrubs to boot.) Chris Johnson probably solidified his place on the team with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 27 minutes. It never hurts to have an energy guy off the bench."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul do terrible things to the Lakers
    "It's only the preseason, and not a very good or very long one at that. And it certainly should not be indicative of what we should expect from the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers in this truncated 66-game season. But if you'll allow the Clippers' 19-point win over the Lakers on Monday to be slightly telling? Then the Clips just told the old men off."

    The Basketball Jones: 2011-12 Fantasy basketball rankings: Shooting guards
    "Ellis is like Latrell Sprewell when Spree busted out with the Warriors about 20 years ago — a big-time talent stuck on an overlooked squad. However, with the advancement of fantasy sports and technology on the internets, Ellis is a known commodity. Not the household name as the player before him or the player after, but if you know ball, you know Monta. And what does Monta like? Putting the ball in the hoop and ripping rocks with the best of them. If he stays healthy, he’s a top dozen or so player in fantasy."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2011-12 NBA season prediction countdown: 24-22
    "Can an NBA franchise build around Eric Gordon? That question won’t be answered this season, but a lot of people will begin to think so when he finishes in or near the top five in scoring. This is his team, for better or worse, and while he might not be thrilled about his new situation, he’ll have the opportunity to rack up some impressive numbers and possibly even earn himself a max contract in the summer."

    Commercial Appeal: Grizzlies prepare offer sheet for Bobcats' forward, discuss trade with Sixers
    "Magnetic resonance imaging performed Monday on Arthur confirmed that he has a torn right Achilles and will miss the entire 2011-12 season. Memphis, shorthanded up front before Arthur’s injury, is in the market for two frontcourt players. Cunningham is viewed as a close replacement for Arthur, and the Griz also have 76ers versatile big man Marresse Speights on their radar, according to sources with knowledge of the Grizzlies’ thinking."


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