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Around The World: January 5

01/05/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    January 5

    ESPN: Buy or Sell: Early-season surprises
    "Buy. Despite all the setbacks, Portland has things clicking. Jamal Crawford was a perfect pickup. LaMarcus Aldridge might be the best power forward in the West. Raymond Felton's pick-and-pop game with Aldridge is lethal. The Blazers defend, are running more and have half-court scoring options aplenty. Everyone wanted to hand the West to the Thunder, but the Blazers might have something to say about it."

    Trail Blazers: Lakers Make Long 2011-12 Trip To Rose Garden
    "The Trail Blazers (4-1) enter Thursday night's game fresh off of notching their most impressive win of the fledgling 2011-12 season Tuesday against the Thunder in Oklahoma City. In that game, LaMarcus Aldridge turned in his best performance of the first five games, finishing with 30 points and 8 rebounds in 42 minutes. While Aldridge did the heavy lifting, he had plenty of help from his teammates, with Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum all scoring in double figures."

    Oregon Live: Early season treats Trail Blazers and Lakers differently
    "Not a lot of people are saying much about Portland," Blazers guard Raymond Felton said. "They ain't talkin' about Portland making the playoffs. I like just where we are. I like us staying under the radar. So we don't want nobody talking about us on the T.V. Nothing. Even though it's a little disrespectful, that's OK. It just fuels us. We are just going to continue to play hard."

    Columbian: Lakers don’t have favored status against Blazers
    "The surprise contributor for L.A., however, has been Andrew Bynum. The oft-injured big man is averaging a whopping 22.7 points and 17 rebounds in his three games this season, making up for his four-game suspension to start the season in impressive fashion."

    Blazersedge Via 750 The Game: Chad Buchanan: Greg Oden Is "Taking The Next Step" In Rehab
    "Yeah, I think Greg is very appreciative of the commitment we've made to him over the years. He knows where we stand with him. Ultimately, at the end of the day, he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and it's the right of every free agent to go search around and see what options are out there. I anticipate that he will do that. He knows where we stand with him and we've been by his side from day one. We hope to see him out there having success on the court again."

    Willamette Week: Crash Course
    "The reason wasn’t just Wallace’s numbers—he averaged more than 15 points and eight rebounds last season, while making an impact in every standard statistical category. What really endeared Wallace to fans was how the 6-foot-7 forward played every minute as if it were the tail end of a close playoff game."

    Blazersedge: Game 6 Preview: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
    "When the Blazers have won against L.A. at home--a frequent occurrence--it's been because of hard, opportunistic play. When the Lakers have won it's been because Portland has been forced to scramble so hard against one L.A. star (could be Bryant, could be Gasol, sometimes it was Odom) that the floor opened for all of the other L.A. players. Yes, Kobe Bryant has pasted a couple of last-second, painful memories in Portland's consciousness but more frequently Portland defeats have come at the hands of 22 from Artest, 18 from Fisher, and 16 and 10 from Odom."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: The Nuggets build their own Lob City
    "One of those places is Denver, where a number of versatile players have turned the Nuggets into an exciting and good squad. During Wednesday night's 110-83 win over the Kings, Rudy Fernandez and rookie Kenneth Faried combined for one of the best highlights of the young season. After a scramble at midcourt, Faried grabbed a loose ball and passed ahead to Fernandez, who found himself to far under the basket to score easily. So, instead of collecting himself with a defender nearby, he threw the ball over his head with two hands to a sprinting Faried, who finished with a one-handed slam."

    Ball Don't Lie: Behind the Box Score, where the Clippers can blow you out
    "Awful defense from the Rockets in this loss, nobody gets a pass here (even Kyle Lowry, who was just plain beat), and the Clippers took full advantage. Sound ball and player movement from the Clips, who came in waves during this win. Los Angeles has its own issues defensively, but they were the more aggressive team and left the Rockets a dispirited bunch just minutes into the second half."

    The Basketball Jones: Ep. 732: Knock On Wood
    "On today’s live edition of “The Fix,” Skeets and Tas discuss: Andrew Bynum’s first 20-20, Kobe Bryant’s injuries and shot selection, Kyle Lowry’s insane start, Tom Thibodeau’s brilliant final play call, whether James Harden should start, Gerald Wallace bullying Kevin Durant, OKC fatigue, Perkins and LMA’s “forceful separation of bodies.” All that, plus Dr. Seaver, Tristan Thompson, Tim in Graphics, Whoa Boy, Book It picks, and Derek Fisher’s shiny head. Enjoy."

    The Basketball Jones: Bigger laughs — Bulls flop-fest or Kevin Garnett’s water fight with himself?
    "It’s impossible to decide which of these videos is funnier, so just watch both of them. Do you go for the basketball hilarity of two straight Bulls flopping on the same fast break?"

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Diagnosis: 1.5
    "LeBron James was big again last night, finishing 33 points, eight rebounds, 13 assists and two steals. He shot 57 percent (12-21) from the floor, 82 percent (9-11) from the free-throw line and had two turnovers. The man has yet to make a three-pointer and has only attempted one this season, but that has done nothing to drag down his fantasy value. King James remains far and away the best fantasy basketball player in the land."

    SLAM: Post Up: No ‘D’ New York
    "Wasn’t Tyson Chandler supposed to bring some defense to the Knicks? If so, why did the Bobcats shoot 55 percent and 7-11 from downtown? And why is Boris Diaw scoring 27 points on 12-15 shooting, including 3 threes, after scoring 5 total points in his previous two games? And how did Byron Mullens score 16 points in 20 minutes? Seriously, New York’s defensive effort last night was nothing short of atrocious, especially down the stretch, when the Bobcats could get whatever they wanted."

    SLAM Via Washington Post: John Wall on the Wizards: ‘It Could Get Ugly This Whole Season’
    " ‘It’s like everybody blanks out,’ John Wall said after the Wizards lost, 103-85, at Amway Center and set a new franchise record by opening the season with six losses. ‘Everybody going for their own. And we don’t have anybody on our team that can just go get his own bucket whenever. You see everybody being selfish on the offensive end and on the defensive end, we’re not trusting each other … If we don’t find a way to play together and win games, it could get ugly this whole season.’"

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "The Nets' starters facing Boston were -- and I am not making this up -- Shelden Williams, Damion James, Mehmet Okur, Sundiata Gaines and MarShon Brooks. The Nets fell to 1-6 in the blowout loss, and with D-Will and Brook Lopez out, this team looks every bit the club that could threaten the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers' single-season record for losses (73) -- were it not a 66-game season."

           



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