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Around The World: December 22

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    December 22 Video: Recap - Trail Blazers 89, Jazz 92 Video: Nate McMillan Post-Game

    Trail Blazers: Road-Review: Late-Game Learning In Utah
    "The king of defense for the quarter? Veteran Kurt Thomas. He was on the receiving end of three offensive fouls in the first quarter. (He added one more later in the game to end with four.) Watching the savvy Thomas stand his ground was nothing less than impressive. He should teach a class on how to take a charge, his demonstrations are straight out of a textbook."

    Oregon Live: LaMarcus Aldridge 'rusty' in return to NBA play as Blazers fall to Jazz 92-89
    ""He looked rusty," McMillan said. "And that's to be expected. His timing, I thought, was off. But it was good for him to get a game in. He had been off all summer like the rest of our guys and you've got to work yourself back into shape.""

    Trail Blazers: Breakthrough season possible for Trail Blazers
    “Crawford’s supposed to be sixth-man-of-the-year talent. Raymond is in his prime, taking over a team. LaMarcus, can you be an All-Star? Nicolas and Wesley, will you become better? Nolan (Smith) and Elliot (Williams), who are you? Coach McMillan, can you win in the postseason? We all have something to prove.”

    Rip City Project: Preseason Game 2 Recap: Jazz 92, Blazers 89
    "And what are those problems? In my mind there’s basically one. Portland needs to make jump shots when they’re open. Wednesday the whole Blazer team couldn’t hit, but nobody hit less than Jamal Crawford. Jamal is the kind of player that loves to shoot, and he should love to shoot because he’s really good at it. But some nights his shots just won’t fall. Wednesday was one of those nights. Jamal shot 3-of-16 from the field, and missed all five of his three-point attempts. Like I said, he is going to have those kinds of nights. It is going to be up to the rest of the Blazers to identify when it’s going to be that kind of night, and hopefully pick up the slack."

    Blazersedge: Bill Simmons Predicts Portland Will Go 36-30; Says Blazers Fans are "Zombies" Who "Will Come After You"Year
    "I went a little high on Portland. Not out of fear of Rip City. I think they are going to be pretty good. I like Jamal Crawford. I like The Rhino, Craig Smith. I have them for 36-30."

    SBNation: The third annual NBA Watchability Scale
    "But at least they added a new ingredient last year in Gerald Wallace to spice up the monotony, which is why they're ranked this high. Few players are as fun to watch in the league, because few players play with such reckless abandon. Wallace blocks shots, gets steals and provides some jaw-dropping athletic moves, all as a small forward. He's also athletic enough to play power forward, which means we get to see more interesting small lineups."

    Blazersedge: Pre-Season Game 2 Reflections: Trail Blazers 89, Jazz 92
    "Portland's interior defense isn't so much bad as lacking any room for error. When everything goes right the Blazers can keep containment. If a guard leaks through or Portland's big man is so much as a half-step off everything falls apart. There's no back-up plan, no interior intimidation. The opponent either makes the shot or gets set up for an easy offensive rebound as the other Blazers scramble. The Blazers are also going to have trouble covering good low-post players for the same reason. Part of the issue may be the feeling-out process among new teammates. Covering for each other takes familiarity. But with most of Portland's defensive stalwarts at small forward or below it's paper thin no matter how familiar they get with each other."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Raptors unveil alternate, camouflage jerseys
    "Again, appropriate gesture, but these threads trend toward the uglier side of things. The Remembrance Day poppies are classy and dignified, whereas these uniforms are a bit over the top."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2011-12 NBA season prediction countdown: 12-10
    "It would be pretty funny and amazing if Popovich and Duncan led the Spurs to another lockout-season championship and then both retired so they could perfectly bookend their careers. But let’s face facts: Timmy is 35-years-old now and will be 36 by the time the playoffs arrive. His per-game playing time has declined for five straight seasons to the point where he averaged less than 30 minutes last season. He’s now in the role that David Robinson played in ’99 as a fading (but still very capable) big man who needed the young upstart to help carry him to glory. Sadly, there isn’t anyone to play the “young Tim Duncan” role on this team. And of course there isn’t. He’s the greatest power forward of all time. Cloning technology isn’t quite there yet."

    DIME: The NBA’s Top 5 Sleeper Teams
    "I know, I know. The Timberwolves won a lousy 17 games in 2010-11. But that means there’s room for improvement, and why shouldn’t there be a little optimism? David Kahn‘s point guard collection aside, the Wolves have an inviting roster on paper. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are a year older, and their maturation is probably going to come in the form of more wins."

    SLAM: The 10 Best Christmas Day NBA Performances
    "The 6-7 forward set the standard for festive season feats when he tried valiantly to guide his Knickerbockers to a holy holiday victory. Despite dropping an hours worth of points, Buck Williams and the Nets still prevailed, walking away 120-114 victors. Since that memorable King of New York showing, Kobe Bryant’s 61 point in Madison Square Garden (Feb. 2, 2009—fourth highest of his career) may have eclipsed the long-standing benchmark. But never fear Knicks fans, King’s 60 remains the highest single-game Christmas Day scoring total."

    ESPN: Kobe Bryant Has Torn Wrist Ligament
    "It was mine and Kobe's and the doctor's decision to sit him tonight, but if tonight was a playoff game, maybe [he could play]," coach Mike Brown said during his pregame remarks. "It's a preseason game."


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