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Around The World: January 18

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    January 18 Video: Trail Blazers Courtside

    ESPN: Contenders or pretenders?
    "Contenders. The Blazers are hovering around the impressive distinction of having both a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense, a special level of balance that typically results in playoff success. Portland is certainly an imperfect team, but it has an opportunity to capitalize on a Western Conference in flux by way of its speed, efficiency and versatility."

    Trail Blazers: The New Kid In Town
    "Now that he’s here in Portland after a few previous NBA stops, Felton isn’t looking to go anywhere else. “I want to stay here. I’ve made that known publicly. I’ve told my parents, my other family members, and the Blazers’ organization. Hopefully this can be where I’ll stay for the next 45 years!”

    Trail Blazers: Portland Looks To Reverse Fortunes In Atlanta
    "Portland (8-5) will hope that Jamal Crawford can recover from his recent shooting woes in the familiar confines of Philips Arena. Crawford played 155 games for Atlanta from 2009-11 and was the highest scorer on either team in last season's series between the Trail Blazers and Hawks with a 21.5 point average including 50 percent shooting (8-16) from beyond the arc."

    Rip City Project: Game 14 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks
    "First, Al Horford is out with a torn pectoral muscle. He recently had surgery, but he’s expected to miss three to four months. Horford is probably Atlanta’s most complete player. He’s a strong rebounder, a consistent scorer, and a better than average man-to-man defender. Losing Horford means that Atlanta has to rely more heavily on Marvin Williams and Josh Smith to play interior defense. Smith likes to defend from the weak-side so he can get highlight, Nicolas Batum-esque, blocks; nobody has ever accused Marvin Williams of playing defense. Also, Atlanta has to play more minutes with Jason Collins in the lineup. Collins is basically a non-factor. In his one start this season he played 13 minutes and missed his only attempted shot."

    Blazersedge: Blazers C Marcus Camby "Doubtful" Wednesday With Ankle Sprain
    "Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that Portland Trail Blazers starting center Marcus Camby will miss Monday's game against the New Orleans Hornets. Kurt Thomas started in place of Camby on Saturday night against the Houston Rockets."

    Blazersedge: Game 14 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks
    "The Hawks run an efficient offense featuring points in the paint, fastbreaks, free throw attempts, and a great three-point shooting percentage when they need it. Their order of preference is run, go inside, take the three to keep defenses honest. They shoot jumpers to clear the middle for their athletes, not vice-versa. Most nights they're quite good. Things can fall apart (on the few nights they've been beaten it's been because they couldn't get to 90) but that's rare. They distribute the ball well and commit few mistakes."

    Blazersedge: Blazers G Raymond Felton Has Been Off But It Will (Probably) Get Better
    "As Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus and other Felton defenders are quick to point out, there is one element of his game that's proven to be stable: his distributing. Felton's 7.2 assists per game are in line with his previous production. You could argue -- and certainly those who traded for him would -- that Felton is therefore accomplishing his primary objective, despite the major early-season funk. That's small consolation if incompetent ball-control is one of your pet peeves, but it does need to be acknowledged."

    Ball Don't Lie: Steve Nash to New York is just six months away
    "For one, Nash has refused to demand a trade away from a 4-9 Suns team that clearly needs to rebuild and doesn't need a point guard who will be turning 38 in February running their show. There is the possibility that he re-signs with the Suns just to be that swell guy, again, but that seems a bit much even for him. Nash, recently divorced, lives in Manhattan during the offseason and long ago earned enough goodwill from both Suns and NBA fans to chase that ring."

    Ball Don't Lie: Blazers shake doldrums, end losing streak
    "Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star recently pointed out that the Pacers are 26th in the NBA in attendance as they average 14,682 a game. This is an increase over last season, when the Pacers ranked dead-last in attendance as they worked up a 13,538 average, but it's hardly a warming thought once you consider that the team not only has turned into a heavy winner straight out of the gate, but that the squad has turned into one that ranks as aesthetically pleasing as the fantastic home stadium they play in. This is a fun team to watch, working in perhaps the nicest arena in the NBA, and they still aren't pulling."

    The Basketball Jones: Ridnour: ‘I don’t know anything that’s going on’
    "That is a weird “best thing,” but sure — going in to a game clueless so that you can just play is definitely one way to go about things. If Luke Ridnour thinks that’s the way to go, then he should keep doing it because he’s been awesome this year. If not knowing anything that’s going on means the best shooting percentage, most points and stellar three-point shooting then he shouldn’t read anything ever. Whatever works."

    The Basketball Jones: George Karl Thinks The Nuggets Act Too Cool
    "But you can’t blame George Karl for being upset about this sort of thing happening. The Nuggets are only 3-3 when allowing 100 or more points and 1-4 when allowing a team to make 50 percent of more of their shots, so it’s understandable that the specific scenario that ticked Karl off — “I’m kind of fed up about teams coming in here shooting 50 percent, scoring 100 points” — did tick him off. It’s not like he’s upset about Chris Andersen getting all those tattoos. He’s just mad about the oft-discussed letdown game."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 1.18
    "Brandon Jennings put up 30 points, three boards, six assists, three steals and a block, and hit three treys along the way to a big line last night. He shot 59 percent (13-22) from the field, 50 percent (1-2) from the free-throw line and had three turnovers. This was a nice bounce-back game from his 7/3/2 clunker the night before. Jennings is having a much-improved season so far, and he’s putting up top 30 averages to date. Nevertheless, it’s tough to fully trust his ability to maintain this kind of pace, and his owners should at least explore his trade value."

    DIME: 10 NBA Teams That Need A New Point Guard
    Brandon Knight: I’ve been saying this since back when Knight had braids, but I don’t think he’s a point guard. His assist rate (17.4) is eighth-worst among all lead guards in the league, and the only ones below him (Bynum, Gary Neal, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer, Keyon Dooling, J.J. Barea, Toney Douglas) are part-time 1s at best."

    SLAM: Post Up: Beasts of the East
    "A tale of two halves would be putting it lightly. The Spurs were on fire to start the game, leading 52-35 with 3 minutes to go in the second quarter and taking a 63-49 lead into halftime after a Danny Green halfcourt buzzer-beater. Then, the third quarter happened. And damn, did it happen. Miami outscored the Spurs 39-12 in the third—LeBron James shot 7-9 in the quarter, while San Antonio shot just 4-of-19 as a team. If you blinked, you would have missed the Heat taking the lead and completely taking over the game. LeBron finished with 33 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds, while Chris Bosh had 30, 8 boards and 5 dimes (plus 4 steals) and Mike Miller returned from the dead to shoot a perfect 6-6 from three-point range (18 points). Miami shot 58 percent from the field in all, including 16-of-26 from deep—all without Dwyane Wade in uniform. The Heat even added injury to insult late, courtesy of one of the hardest picks ever. Not surprisingly, Coach Pop was not too pleased with his team’s second-half performance: “They out physicalled us and beat our butts. We should be embarrassed by playing that soft. Any questions?"

    Hang Time Blog: Sellout Streak In Jeopardy?
    "But if I had to break the piggy bank here at the hideout and put some money on any one fan base rising up and making sure their sellout streak continues, I’m going with the folks in Rip City!"

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "A lot of teams are going to dare me to shoot and take away my drive," James said afterward when the adrenaline had cleared his system. "Coaches always say about me, 'If he's making outside shots, we can live with it.' I've got to continue to work on it, continue to take those shots when they're there."


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