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Around The World: February 16

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

    February 16 Video: Trail Blazers 93, Warriors 91 Video: Gerald Wallace Walk-off Interview Video: Nate McMillan Post-Game Interview

    Hang Time Blog: Rosen’s Report: Clippers at Blazers
    "This means playing Griffin soft whenever he turns and faces. That’s because he lacks even the semblance of a stroke. Also, when Griffin is in the low-post, he tends to make a power dribble then change direction by spinning blindly — alert weakside defense can create turnovers. If Griffin plays barely adequate man-to-man defense, he gets lost when his man is off-the-ball. Batum and Marcus Camby can free themselves with judicious backcuts."

    SLAM: Journey of a General
    “Everyone has skeletons in their closet,” he said. “Mine just happened to play out on a major scale. We were young and didn’t handle business the right way. Those life experiences make me who I am. I may have bumped my head along the way, but that is the beauty of who I am.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Team Effort Gets Road Result At Golden State
    "Jamal Crawford's three-pointer put Portland up 91-90 and a 1-of-2 trip to the line for Nate Robinson was followed by a 2-of-2 trip to the charity stripe for Crawford to seal the final margin as Robinson lost the handle driving for a potentially game-tying shot as time expired."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers v. Clippers Preview
    "Foye was outstanding, and we're going to need that from him," guard Chris Paul said. "I've known him for years and I used to play against him when he was in Minnesota. Foye was one of those guys who used to give us fits because he's such a good player. I think at times, he's better than he thinks he is. So we just need him to keep getting his confidence."

    Trail Blazers: Blazers Breakthrough By The Bay
    "The Trail Blazers have been searching for a big road win, and something to build their shaken confidence in close games. Perhaps this is it. They have beaten the Lakers in L.A. more often than they’ve beaten the Warriors in Oakland in the last six years. In other words, this was very significant. And, to do it without their star, meant even more. As my esteemed partner said on our pregame show before the game, sometimes injuries are a blessing in disguise. It’s not that you ever want someone to get hurt, but it can challenge a team in a way that’s tough to duplicate otherwise."

    Oregon Live: Portland 93, Golden State 91: Blazers finally overcome Warriors on the road
    "I hope this is an answer for everyone individually, we should look in the mirror and take pride in this win," Gerald Wallace said. "This is a big win for us. Losing our All-Star, LaMarcus, and coming on the road ... and getting a win like this is a big confidence booster for this team."

    Portland Tribune: Thomas’ travels make him a Blazer
    “Kurt is what you would call a solid pro,” coach Nate McMillan says. “He has been one of our more consistent players. He comes to work, knows what he needs to do and prepares himself well. He doesn’t say much, rolls with the punches and plays the game the right way. I’ve told our players, when you have a guy who has played 17 years in this league, a couple of things have to happen. He has to be lucky enough to not have had serious injuries, and he has to know how to play the game. Guys like Robert Parish, John Stockton, Marcus Camby — your basketball IQ is pretty high.”

    Rip City Project: Game 30 Recap: Blazers 93, Warriors 91
    "LaMarcus Aldridge was absent Wednesday night, and there’s a pretty good chance he’ll miss Thursday night too. Portland will have the benefit of the crowd when the face the Clippers, but they still are going to have to find a way to get offense without their main guy. Wednesday they spread it around, five guys got into double digits in scoring and Wesley Matthews had nine, but a couple of Blazers couldn’t find their way at all. Matthews hit his first four shots then missed the rest, finishing 4-of-12 and 1-of-6 from three. A couple of his looks in the fourth quarter weren’t even close. He needs to keep firing when he gets open shots because eventually the pendulum will swing the other way and he won’t want to miss it. That being said, Wednesday night he didn’t look confident at all in his shooting. Raymond Felton continued to struggle (4-of-15 from the field 2-of-5 from deep), and Nicolas Batum couldn’t follow up his big night against the Wizards (7-of-13 from the field 2-of-5 from deep), and apart from a big three Crawford wasn’t great either."

    Blazersedge: Game 30 Recap: Portland Trail Blazers 93, Golden State Warriors 91
    "This wasn't a postcard-home-to-mama type of game. The Blazers did tons of things wrong. Their defense was sporadic. Their rebounding was intermittent. They passed too much or not at all, found the wrong people at the wrong times, and shot way too many long balls against a small Golden State lineup. They couldn't finish at the rim. All their guards shot poorly. David Lee ran roughshod over them. They hesitated like a Junior High boy going in for his first kiss during critical offensive possessions. But when it mattered they did everything right. Most of all they played like they wanted this game. There's no way to describe it other than some threes fell at the right time (finally) and the Blazers knocked heads together when they needed to. This was a game Portland fans can be proud of...not a work of art but a work of will."

    Blazersedge: Game 31 Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
    "On the other end the Clippers will allow you to score. Their perimeter defenders are not great. They'll foul you. You can shoot from three-point range. Like any good defense they'll try to stop the interior points first. They succeed modestly but it's often at the price of the open jumper. If you can make them move in and out or reverse the floor L.A. will let you score. Their best potential defenders are either too young (center DeAndre Jordan) or too old (forwards Caron Butler and Kenyon Martin). They'll have good games, mind you....great games even. Sometimes Jordan will swat you into oblivion and Butler can still stay in front of anybody when focused. But those games are farther in between than the Clippers would like. Of note: Butler has been on an offensive tear this week, scoring 20+ in 3 of his last 5 games."

    Ball Don't Lie: LeBron James hints that he’d like to be welcomed back as a Cleveland Cavalier
    "Right now? This is just a goofball bit of "look at me!" from a guy trying to be tactful and nice in the face of media that report to a place he called home for 98 percent of his life. James might not be completely happy in Miami, now that things haven't come as easily as he'd hoped, but there's nothing to see here in mid-February of 2012."

    Ball Don't Lie via Arizona Republic: The Phoenix Suns refuse to dismantle their team because of … we can’t tell
    "The organization has no interest in a full-scale "blowing up" of the team, because its research shows that process can take from eight to 10 years and it has no interest in waiting that long. It believes a return to being an elite team will come from better drafting, wise personnel moves via trades and free agency, and taking advantage of the significant amount of salary-cap space it will have available next season."

    DIME: Dime NBA Power Rankings, Vol. VI: The Most Overlooked Team Makes A Big Jump
    "Now we’ll really see what the Blazers are made of. With LaMarcus Aldridge going down with a nice lil’ ankle injury, the Blazers’ front line is old and creaky with a bunch of vultures circling around. The Blazers problem is their strength: depth. After LMA, who’s the No. 2 guy? No one knows. Gerald Wallace plays like a monster at home, and then on the road he’s a different player. Nic Batum is up and down, and hasn’t shown emotion since he donned a Blazer uni. If I’m Portland, I’m making a deal to try to jump start this team.''

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 2.16
    "Josh Smith exploded for 30 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, four steals, three blocks and two three-pointers last night. He shot 52 percent (12-23) from the field and 67 percent (4-6) from the free-throw line, and turned the ball over four times. Smith is improving his averages from month to month and continues to be a dominant fantasy asset on most nights."

    DIME: The 4 Players Who Should’ve Been In The 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
    "Westbrook’s max vertical of 36.5 inches and a rangy 6-8 wingspan to go along with his acceleration speed, clocked at 3.08 seconds within the three-quarters court drill before the draft, makes him a nightmare on the break. This mix of Stevie Franchise-esque springs and zoom of the next cat on this list are what warrants his participation in the dunk contest. It’s a bad mistake he was omitted in ’09."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Blaze Of Glory
    "With LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined due to an ankle injury, the Blazers were able to pull off a tough road victory behind Gerald Wallace’s 24 points and 6 rebounds. In a back and forth game that was close throughout, Jamal Crawford proved to be the deciding factor off the bench for Portland. The always exciting swingman knocked down a huge 3-pointer with 1:03 left to take a 91-90 lead. After Nate Robinson (21 points) hit one of two from the strip to tie it at 91, Crawford drew a foul and hit the final two points of the game to give Portland a 93-91 lead. Nicolas Batum continued his strong play with 17 points and Marcus Camby had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. David Lee led the Warriors wth 29 points and 11 boards but Golden State made a number of boneheaded plays late in the game to let this one slip away at home."

    SLAM: 2012 NBA Dunk Contest: Shumpert, Budinger, George, Williams
    "Griffin is not defending his dunk title, but sources said that the annual dunk contest has a new format which will consist of only one round and in which the winner will be solely determined by fan vote. All four competitors in the 2012 dunk field are first-timers and will be formally announced later Thursday, sources said. Each entrant will get three dunks, with fan voting to open after the foursome completes their first dunks."

    ESPN: Streaks, when will they come to an end?
    "Unbearable. Everyone knew that Charlotte was going to struggle to some extent this season, but this was not the degree of struggle I was expecting. Make no mistake, this team has been plagued by injuries by losing three starters for a month during this losing streak (Augustin, Henderson & Maggette) and getting them back should help, but the Cats still have the history books staring them in the face."


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