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Around The World: December 23

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

    December 23 Video: Just Casey For December 22 Video: Rip City Update With Adam & Sarah For December 22

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge is ready to be "The Man"
    "I still have to prove a lot of people wrong," Aldridge said. "I still haven't been an All-Star. I still haven't led this team to the second round of the playoffs. People still doubt that I'm a go-to player. This is the first year, starting from Day 1, that I'm "The Man," so people are writing us off because Brandon retired. There's a lot that motivates me."

    Oregon Live: LaMarcus Aldridge on the Trail Blazers: 'We have everything we need.'
    “I like this team a lot. We have great chemistry,’’ Aldridge said. “This is a team that is going to get along well, and I feel we are going to win a lot of games, too. We have all the pieces we need: veteran bigs. Jamal (Crawford) coming off the bench as a good sixth man. Shooters in the first lineup. Nic (Batum) coming off the bench. We have everything we need.’’

    Blazersedge: 2011-12 Season Preview: The Forwards
    "On paper this trio looked formidable. The big questions are how they'll fit together and how well they fit the Blazers' needs. Each player is versatile, even more well-rounded than the Blazer guards. Batum and Aldridge play well together, Batum and Wallace superbly. The Aldridge-Wallace combo will be the interesting question. They could become a defensive nightmare for the opponent or an offensive nightmare for the Blazers. One of the recurring themes as we peruse the Portland roster is lack of outside shooting. If I'm lining up against Aldridge, Wallace, and any combination of Blazer guards I simply guard the floor 20 feet and in, let them shoot, and then refuse the offensive rebounds upon which the Blazers rely so heavily."

    CBS Predictions for the sprint through 2011-12's compressed season
    "Greg Oden suffered another setback, and the loss of Brandon Roy to chronic knee injuries is even more devastating. But the Blazers still have LaMarcus Aldridge and one of the most resourceful coaches in the game. Somehow, Nate McMillan always finds a way."

    ESPN: Power Rankings: Mavericks are preseason No. 1
    "Day 1 of camp: B-Roy forced to retire, Oden shelved for another season with more of his own knee torment and Aldridge rocked by a heart scare. Blazermaniacs can only hope this is the season that Team What Next gets it all out of its system early."

    NBA: After preseason, Heat are on top
    "One of the more interesting boxscore tidbits of the preseason thus far? Jamal Crawford's seven assists in just 22 minutes on Monday. The Blazers have a strong top-eight in their rotation, but unless rookie Nolan Smith is ready to run the show, Crawford could be asked to handle the ball quite a bit. "

    The Basketball Jones: 2011-12 Fantasy Basketball Rankings: Power Forwards
    "Since the unfortunate retirement of Brandon Roy, the Blazers are now somewhat officially Aldridge’s team. He stepped up his production last season and still has some upside to do more things for the Blazers. When the team runs its half-court offense, LMA is the main beneficiary there, but he’s also able to finish on breaks when called upon. He doesn’t possess the sexy name of some other fours, but he’ll produce like he’s Jessica Alba in “Sin City.” Don’t worry if you get caught watching that video at work because there are at least one million other perverts that’s watched it. I’m factoring repeated views of course. In any case, now I’m distracted. Yeah, Aldridge is good."

    The Basketball Jones: The TBJ 2011-12 NBA season prediction countdown: 6-4
    "The Clippers franchise has been around since 1970, when they started out as the Buffalo Braves. In those 41 seasons, they never had a season with 50 or more wins — their best season was 1974-75, when they went 49-33 for a .598 winning percentage. These Clippers won’t win 50 games in a shortened season, but they will have a winning percentage better than .600 for the first time in franchise history. Finally, nobody will have to feel embarrassed to be a Clippers fan."

    DIME: The NBA’s Top 5 Up-And-Coming Backcourts
    "It’s no secret that the Warriors have the best backcourt in the NBA. Being that they don’t get to play on national television much (when they do, half of the East Coast is usually in bed by halftime) they fly well under the radar. But Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are the highest-scoring backcourt in the NBA. The key to having an elite backcourt is having your starting point guard & shooting guard combine for an average of at least 30 points. Well last season, Curry & Ellis put together a combined 42.7 ppg, which is way above average. Many didn’t believe these two could co-exist. It’s safe to say they spoke too soon."

    DIME: The Top 5 Teams In The NBA Most Likely To Disappoint
    "Oh how the mighty have fallen. Last season they were the defending champs, but now it looks as if they may not even be the best team in their own city. With Lamar Odom defending the crown in Dallas, this squad lacks the depth necessary for a deep postseason run. The Lakers will certainly be in the running to obtain Dwight Howard, but can Bynum and Gasol perform with rumors of their departure constantly in their ears? If they can obtain Dwight Howard by only giving up one of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, then they can certainly turn things around. However, if they are forced to give up both, they might just be digging their hole even deeper. I know to never count Kobe out, but it’s starting to look like the beginning of the end in Hollywood. "

    SLAM: Post Up: ’11-12 Season Preview
    "No, this pick is not about his “summer,” though his high level of activity during the lockout certainly won’t hurt his stamina, readiness or confidence. It’s more about this wacky season we’re about to endure. I subscribe to the belief that the Duncans, Bryants and Pierces of the League will rest along the way to save some energy for the post-season, so the older crew is out. Of the emerging superstuds, I don’t see Derrick Rose repeating (much as I love his game), and LeBron and Wade will split ballots. Howard’s a wildcard, but I expect Durant to win the scoring title and take the Thunder to the top spot in the West, which ought to be enough to add an MVP to his growing list of accomplishments."

    ESPN: '11-12 Predictions: Sixth Man of the Year
    "After a breakthrough postseason, James Harden seems ready to make noise in the Sixth Man race."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Under Rich Cho and Michael Jordan, Bobcats rebuild, which could lead to a bad season
    "You don't often see an injury affect multiple franchises the way Brook Lopez's broken right foot has. Lopez suffered the injury Wednesday against the Knicks, and this morning he had surgery to insert a screw and is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks."


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