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Around The World: February 14

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.5

    February 14

    Blazersedge: LaMarcus Aldridge's Chase Of Clyde Drexler
    "Visually, you get a real feel for how special Aldridge's scoring has been. Remember, Drexler is the franchise's gold standard and a Hall of Famer. Aldridge came close to topping Drexler at 22, topped Drexler at 23 and has a solid chance to top him again over the next two seasons, once the NBA is back to playing 82 games. It's not fair to characterize Aldridge as being neck-and-neck with Drexler but there's no question even with Drexler's three massive scoring seasons (ages 25, 26 and 29) that he has produced enough in his first six seasons to indicate that this chase will likely be determined by circumstances (health, contract situation) rather than ability."

    Oregon Live: A Trail Blazers love story: Craig Smith, "The Rhino," reunites with childhood friend
    "Around the Rose Garden, Smith has recently come to refer to himself almost exclusively in the third person as The Rhino, which came with the encouragement of Cirillo. Smith asked her what she thought of the nickname, and she told him she thought it was fitting. She said he should embrace it. "He got all excited," Cirillo said. "Now it's like his alter ego."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers v Wizards Preview
    "In two games against the Wizards last season (one as a member of the Bobcats), Gerald Wallace averaged 26.5 points and 11.0 rebounds to go with 3.00 steals and 1.50 blocks. Wallace dropped 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field in his only game against Washington as a Trail Blazer last season."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Hand Out Hardware At Oregon Sports Awards
    "Then Trail Blazers Craig Smith and Elliot Williams hit the stage for one of the night’s most prestigious awards, the Harry Glickman Award for most outstanding professional athlete with an Oregon background or on an Oregon team. Named after team founder and current President Emeritus Harry Glickman, this award has been presented to some of sports’ biggest stars, including former Trail Blazers Brandon Roy, Clyde Drexler and Bill Walton. This year’s winners were no exception, as Boston Red Sox star center fielder and Madras, Oregon, native Jacoby Ellsbury and standout soccer player on the U.S. Women’s National Team and former University of Portland star Megan Rapinoe took the honors."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' problems begin to boil over
    "We're all playing bad right now," Wesley Matthews said. "With the exception of our All-Star, who's playing above average basketball? Nobody. So we're trying to figure things out. It's been one of those years."

    Columbian: Starting lineup changes for Blazers? No!
    "He was at the 2," McMillan said. "You're at the 2 — make plays. You're in there at the most crucial part of the game — make plays! More minutes doesn't equal winning."

    Rip City Project: So Hey, Raymond Felton Huh?
    "My feelings are somewhere in the middle. I fully agree that Raymond has been bad, and bad play needs to labeled as such and, for lack of a better term, “punished.” But I also agree that swapping Felton for Jamal Crawford, or digging deeper into the bench and promoting Nolan Smith, equates to solving a problem with a problem."

    Blazersedge: Game 29 Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Portland Trail Blazers
    "If you're thinking this playing style screams "guard-oriented" you're correct. Hot rod scorer Nick Young and former overall-#1 pick John Wall are the go-to-guys on this team. Wall produces 16 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game but he can't hit a three-pointer and only shoots a modest 41% clip from the field. His offense depends on plenty of foul shots. Young is at 17 per game, also at 41% from the field but at least he can hit a three at 36%. About 1/3 of his shots come from distance. Neither one can defend...and that's an understatement. They're bad."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ben Wallace is set to break an NBA record, and retire after 2011-12
    "It's probably time. Wallace is 37, but he's an old 37. Big Ben played well into the playoffs for eight straight seasons, including two trips to the Finals, all the while working as an undersized center. Or undersized power forward, if he ever played the position. In fact, he's probably (at 6-6) a little too short for small forward. This is probably why then-Celtics coach M.L. Carr tried to convert Wallace to shooting guard during Ben's first training camp. Wallace says even then he "knew [he] wasn't a two-guard," but Carr still found him unsuitable for a team that went on to lose 67 games."

    Ball Don't Lie: Chris Paul is recruiting J.R. Smith to the Clippers?
    "On the other hand, the Clippers can offer Smith a platform that other teams cannot. With or without Smith, Paul and Blake Griffin give them a chance to make the NBA Finals. In case you haven't noticed from examples including J.J. Barea and Derek Fisher, role players on contending teams tend to get a lot of consideration in the free-agent market even if their numbers don't measure up to those of other players. Smith comes with more baggage than those players, but the glow of a deep playoff run can cast anyone in a new light.''

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 2.14
    "LeBron James finished with 35 points, eight boards, three assists and a steal last night. He shot 76 percent (16-21) from the floor, 100 percent (3-3) from the free-throw line and had two turnovers. James has improved his scoring, rebounding, blocking and accuracy from the floor from his marks last season and is the king of fantasy basketball this season."

    SLAM: Post-Up: The Kings' Revenge
    "Kevin Love (19 points, 15 rebounds), Ricky Rubio (11 points, 8 assists) and Nikola Pekovic (16 points, 13 boards) all had nice games for the Wolves, but Minnesota turned the ball over 18 times and six Magic players scored in double figures as Orlando improved to 18-11 on the year. One night after dropping 31 in a win over Milwaukee, Jason Richardson again led the Magic with 17 points, despite not playing a single minute of the fourth quarter—Stan Van went with JJ Redick’s hot hand. Redick, Jameer Nelson (!) and Hedo Turkoglu scored 14 points apiece, while Dwight Howard battled foul trouble to just 11 points and 7 boards. After ruffling some feathers with his comments about wanting the ball down the stretch, Dwight wasn’t even on the court for much of the fourth after picking up his fifth foul early in the period. The Wolves trimmed a 20-point lead to 8 with less than 6 minutes to play before JJ and Jameer stroked back-to-back threes to help the Magic fend off KLove and Co. Minnesota (13-16) played without Luke Ridnour, so Martell Webster and his hair started in his place. Meanwhile, here’s your daily Rubio highlight sample package: nifty dish, nifty finish."

    Hang Time Blog: The Champs Are (Still) Here!
    "He was right. They’ve gotten back to normal here lately, though, winning four straight games and 18 of their last 24. And now that Nowitzki is back to normal, the champs can entertain thoughts of mounting a serious defense of their title in a season that was supposed to be about rebuilding."

    Hang Time Blog via New York Times: NBA Types Weren’t First To Miss On Lin
    “He was a good student, a good player and, yeah, it’s amazing what he was doing,” said Steve Donahue, now the coach at Boston College, said in a recent telephone interview. “But he didn’t look that athletic and he didn’t shoot it all that well. Even after his freshman year at Harvard, you didn’t give it a second thought that we made a mistake.”

    ESPN: Should Knicks fans be concerned about Amare's and Melo's return?
    "Maybe, but hopefully no one is losing any sleep over it. Amare and Melo are both incredibly talented players. The Knicks have been playing miraculous basketball lately, but when they begin their descent from the heavens, they'll need Amare and Melo as landing cushions. The Knicks need rest and extra bodies. Can't hurt if the extra bodies are perennial All-Stars."

    ESPN: Power Rankings: Knicks leaping with Lin leading
    "The NBA's admission that it got the late goaltending call wrong in last Monday's heartbreaking home loss to the Thunder was so galling because the Blazers' late-game woes are only deepening. They're 1-9 now in games decided by five points or fewer ... 0-6 when the margin is three points or fewer."

    NBA: Power Rankings: Wide-Open West Gets Interesting
    "The Blazers won the first game of the season by four points. Since then, they're 0-9 in games decided by five points or less, including heartbreaking losses to the Thunder and Mavs last week. With the league's fifth-best point differential, they're a lot better than their record (which is 16th best) says they are. "


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