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Around The World: January 31

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    January 31 Video: Trail Blazers 89, Jazz 93 Video: Nate McMillan Post-game Interview Video: Batum Lights Out From Downtown

    Trail Blazers: Portland Suffers Road Loss At Utah
    "We simply got outworked. I mean, that’s what it comes down to. That team wanted it more than we did. It showed in their play," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "You’ve got to be hungry out here, especially on the road, and Utah wanted it more than we did tonight."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews 'at a loss' and unsure how to break out of shooting funk
    “I just don’t know,” Matthews said, revealing that he had no clue what to try next to shake his shooting woes. “Honestly, I’m at a loss right now.”

    Trail Blazers: Another Near Miss On The Road
    "All that really matters is that the Trail Blazers are sitting here on the day after another big road loss searching for answers. The worry, of course, is that the more this happens the more it becomes a mental block for this team. The next time they're in this situation will they be looking for ways to win, or will they be thinking about the past and worrying about how they will lose? That may not sound like a huge issue, but it's a gigantic fork in the road. Success breeds success, and when you fail at big moments, it's just as contagious. A lot of NBA games are close. It's what happens in crunch time that separates the good from the very good."

    Oregon Live: Utah 93, Portland 89: Another late-game meltdown, another road loss for Blazers
    "Batum, who said he never has had a knee problem, is scheduled to undergo magnetic resonance imaging testing this morning to determine the extent of his injury. The pain, he said, is located on the outside of his knee, near his kneecap, and he relayed a mix of optimism and uncertainty in the postgame locker room. "A little bit," he said, when asked how concerned he was. "I don't think it will be too bad. But we'll see tomorrow."

    Rip City Project: Game 21 Recap: Blazers 89, Jazz 93
    "There’s not a whole lot I can think of to say at this point, except that the Blazers are in danger of finishing at .500 if they don’t figure out how to win on the road. During the six-game road trip that recently ended, the Blazers came out slow some nights, and some nights finished poorly. Monday, Portland started fine, and picked up a bit of speed in the second and third quarters–leading by 10 on a couple of occasions during those periods–but when Utah made the run everybody knew was coming, the Blazers just didn’t have a response."

    Blazersedge: Game 21 Recap: Portland Trail Blazers 89, Utah Jazz 93
    "The beginning of the fourth period was typified by two trends. Portland's wobbly defense broke altogether. Their halfcourt rotations were slow, their transition effort was as if the Jazz had developed powers vampiric, sapping all of the energy Portland had evidenced early in this game and using it for themselves. BUT the Blazers were saved by Nicolas Batum going on a tear, popping three-pointers like they were Cheetos. He connected with three triples in four Portland possessions in just two minutes, putting the Blazers up 5 again with 9:00 left in the game. It looked like the Blazers might earn the victory after all. But seasoned 2011-12 observers know what happens when the Blazers have to rely on threes to keep them afloat. Batum's grand makes turned into spectacular misses for the likes of Felton and Crawford. Indeed, after Batum hit his third long ball at the 9:10 mark the Blazers did not score again until the clock read 3:29. The closest non-blocked shot by far in that span was a 15-footer. Six attempts came from 20 feet or more. Meanwhile the Jazz rebounded the orange off the ball, won every 50-50 opportunity, blitzed their break opportunities, and just destroyed Portland in the paint."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Blake Griffin assaults Kendrick Perkins with a dunk
    "Fans on Twitter and elsewhere immediately questioned if it was Griffin's best slam ever, with most agreeing that it was. But that discussion also seems beside the point, because there's only so much you can say about a dunk that will be remembered for years no matter what."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kendrick Perkins, Our Hero
    "He didn't try to take a charge. Wilt Chamberlain in his prime would have had an impossible task in keeping Blake Griffin's fingertips from the rim in that situation, but Perkins tried. He didn't wrap Griffin in a bear hug, and he didn't stand with his arms folded like a soccer player watching somebody attempt a free kick. He moved to the spot and attempted to at least prevent Griffin from scoring -- y'know, the point of actual defense? -- and nearly succeeded. Griffin was a bum spin and/or inch removed from throwing that ball off the rim hard enough to send the sphere bounding into the Bill Simmons seats, or even getting called for the offensive foul on a push-off. Please don't take that as me telling you Griffin pushed off."

    Ball Don't Lie: LeBron James rode his bike to the ballgame on Sunday
    "LeBron James rode his bike to work on Sunday, and "work" happens to be a nationally televised game between his Miami Heat and a Chicago Bulls squad with the best record in the NBA. This is quite cool, it makes this massive talent of a man look all the more human, and if Kevin Durant or Derrick Rose biked to work when Oklahoma City or Chicago's weather warmed up, they'd have a statue and/or Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award waiting for them by the time they got to the arena."

    The Basketball Jones: Ep. 751: The Dunk
    "On today’s live episode of “The Fix,” Skeets and Tas discuss Blake Griffin’s ridiculous dunk on poor Kendrick Perkins. Was it better than the one on Mozgov? Was it better than “The Assassination of John Lucas III?” And how great was the post-dunk Twitter explosion? Oh, yeah, we also get into the Clippers’ three-point shooting, the James Harden starting experiment, Kawhi Leonard’s hustle, the Sixers’ D, Batum’s injury, and whether Gerald Wallace is worth a long-term contract. All that, plus a solid round of Crossfire, which includes Chris Kaman trade possibilities, Dwight’s comments, and our favorite NBA dunk of all-time."

    The Basketball Jones: Mark Jackson still thinks the Warriors will make the playoffs (Weekend Recap)
    "How bad will the Warriors’ record have to be before Mark Jackson admits they’re not going to make the playoffs? Right now, it feels like even if the season ended and the Dubs were on the outside looking in, Mark Jackson would still have them show up for practice just in case something happens and the league decides to include a few more teams. You gotta believe."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: A side-by-side comparison of Blake Griffin killing two centers
    "You’ve seen both of these dunks a billion times already, but when you watch them side-by-side it’s almost eerie how similar Blake Griffin’s dunks over Timofey Mozgov and Kendrick Perkins are. Just for the sake of everyone’s confidence, Clippers opponents should probably mention that side pick-and-roll in the scouting report. Bad things happen if you skip over that page."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 1.31
    "Chris Paul posted 26 points, 14 assists, two steals and two three-pointers last night. He shot 75 percent (12-16) from the field and had two turnovers. His hamstring injury was a bummer earlier this month, but CP3 is back to business as usual. His averages are second best to LeBron James this season. "

    SLAM: Post-Up: The Blake Show
    "Utah rallied from 11 down to grind out a win and get to 12-7 on the year behind 19 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocked shots from Paul Millsap and an 11-7-4 line from Josh Howard in his first start as a member of the Jazz. The Salt Lake City squad shot just 38 percent from the field, but grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 20 fast break points. The Blazers held a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, thanks mostly to LaMarcus Aldridge (who finished with 25 points), but couldn’t fend off the Jazz. Portland had possession down by two with under a minute left, but Nicolas Batum (15 points) appeared to injure his knee on a drive to the basket and fumbled the ball back to Utah. Gordon Hayward (12 points on 3-12 shooting) made 1 of 2 free throws with 13.3 seconds left to extend the Jazz lead to three, then grabbed a critical offensive rebound on a CJ Miles’ miss from the foul line, effectively icing the game in favor of Utah. But the highlight of the game, even in defeat, goes to Gerald Wallace, who slammed a Hayward dunk attempt against the glass with authority."

    ESPN: What trade involving a star would you like to see?
    "It's time that Monta Ellis gets a chance to have an impact on a team that's actually heading somewhere other than the lottery on an annual basis. Sending Ellis to, say, Indiana for Danny Granger would be a move that would balance out both rosters in a productive fashion. Ellis would be the elite shooter/scorer to bolster the Pacers and shift Paul George to small forward. Granger would end the Ellis-Curry backcourt dilemma in Golden State. "


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