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Around The World: February 21

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

    February 21 Video: Trail Blazers 92, Lakers 103 Video: Chad Buchanan Discusses Oden Surgery Video: This Is The Schonz, Please Leave A Message

    Trail Blazers:Greg Oden Has Microfracture Surgery On Left Knee
    "Initially, Greg was undergoing a procedure similar to the one he had a couple of weeks ago to have debris cleared from his right knee," said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. "However, once the doctors were inside Greg's left knee, they unfortunately found articular surface damage and determined microfracture was necessary."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers to make lineup change: Jamal Crawford will start at point guard in place of Raymond Felton
    "This will be Crawford’s second start at point guard this season - he filled in for an injured Felton on Feb. 6 against Oklahoma City, a game the Blazers lost in overtime. Crawford had 17 points, five assists and three turnovers in that game. For the season, Crawford is averaging 14.1 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 38.7 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers vs. Spurs Preview
    "Tony Parker had 23 points with 11 assists, Tim Duncan added 20 and Richard Jefferson hit a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left to seal San Antonio's 11th consecutive victory, 106-102 at Utah on Monday. The Spurs (23-9), winners of 12 straight from Nov. 1-24, 2010, have won eight in a row on the road, including the first seven on a nine-game trip that ends Thursday in Denver."

    Trail Blazers: Too Little, Too Late In Tinseltown
    "I thought that tonight we didn’t come here ready to play. It kind of felt like we started the All Star break tonight and did not come out focused and ready to play," said Portland coach Nate McMillan. "There’s no excuse for that first half and we knew that this team would come out, be aggressive, and play hard after the way the way they played and lost last night but I just didn’t feel that we came ready to play tonight."

    Trail Blazers: Early Hole Too Deep for Blazers
    "This felt like one of those times when one of my kids makes me so irate, and then immediately follows it up with something so incredibly cute and sweet that it totally disarms me and I stand in silence wondering what just happened. I usually end up saying something like, "how can you be so bad one moment, and then be so good the next?"

    Oregon Live: L.A. Lakers 103, Portland 92: Blazers stagger early in flawed loss to Lakers
    "The first quarter is maybe the worst quarter I have been part of in my NBA career," said Batum, who finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. "We showed up with no energy, made no shots. Crazy. The first quarter just killed us."

    Oregon Live: Greg Oden's fifth knee surgery may be final scene in Blazers nightmareFelton
    "Although Blazers executives would not say this is the end of the Oden era, the chances Oden plays again in Portland, or anywhere in the NBA, are doubtful at best. Of his five knee surgeries, three of them have been microfracture procedures, including Monday's surgery in Vail, Colo. Microfracture is the most invasive and serious of knee procedures, and involves making tiny fractures in the knee bone to generate bleeding and stimulate new cartilage growth. No NBA player has come back to play after undergoing three microfracture surgeries."

    Rip City Project: Game 33 Recap: Blazers 92, Lakers 103
    "Possibly there are too many new pieces that haven’t had the proper team to integrate. Maybe there’s a crisis of leadership. This team is without its agreed upon figurehead (Brandon Roy) and so far nobody’s stepped in to claim the role he left behind, not even LaMarcus Aldridge. Maybe its coach Nate McMillan. He hasn’t really ever had a healthy, veteran-heavy lineup in Portland. Maybe he works better stretched to the max. Whatever it is, the Blazers need to figure it out, and figure it out in a hurry."

    Blazersedge: Game 33 Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers
    "Clearly the Blazers will have to play smartly tonight (in both senses of the word) to hang with the surging Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge seems to relish beating up on Tim Duncan. On the other hand Tony Parker becomes immune to Portland defense when he gets rolling. It's unlikely that either team will win this game with their top player alone. The contest will flow one of two ways. Either this will be a routine evening of pretty good basketball and the Spurs will win or the Blazers will come with enough energy in the supporting cast to shake up San Antonio's three-piece suit style and the Blazers will win. You can't get rebound against this team, you have to get nasty. You can't just run, you've got to run and jam it in their face."

    Blazersedge: Game 33 Recap: Portland Trail Blazers 92, Los Angeles Lakers 103
    "The Lakers pushed the ball inside to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, grabbed approximately six billion offensive rebounds, used Portland collapsing to free up distance shooters, then took advantage of the spread floor to let Kobe Bryant operate. When the Blazers stood up, stunned and likely near deaf from the impact, they were down 30 points. Yes...30 points. In 15 minutes. All the Blazers could offer were weak jumpers which kept missing. The drought got so bad at one point in the early second period that the Laker crowd actually applauded when Nicolas Batum made a bucket to end L.A.'s shutout run. Following a 7 point first quarter the Blazers rallied to bring their total to 30 at the half. A third-quarter barrage of three-pointers coupled with L.A. laughing so hard brought Portland back a little. They closed within 10 against the Lakers bench in the early fourth. So Mike Brown brought Kobe Bryant back in and Kobe took the safety off the bazooka again by scoring a couple times and looking meaningfully at the Blazers. That was enough to scare the kid away for good. The final score says an 11 point loss but eyes, heart, and common sense call this one of the biggest blowout losses of Portland's season."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Led by Tony Parker's All-Star play, Spurs are red-hot coming into Portland
    "The Spurs have had an impressive season, closing to within two games of once seemingly uncatchable Oklahoma City for the top spot in the Western Conference. They've done so while Manu Ginobili -- arguably their best player -- has missed 23 games, first with a broken hand, and now a strained oblique suffered against the Clippers. Ginobili is expected to miss two weeks, as is reserve center Tiago Splitter, who has a strained right calf."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Minnesota’s Martell Webster forgets that a dunk isn’t worth three points
    "It happens to the best of us. There we are at work, with a mohawk. We use our considerable length and expert timing, as one of 450 professionals in our field amongst potential millions, to steal the ball and dash from one end of the court to another to possibly pull up for a 3-point basket (based on our ability to hit 37 percent of the shots we've taken from 24 feet and out over our seven-year NBA career). But in the heat of the moment and in that thin Denver air, we forget our team is down three points with mere seconds to go, and move in for a 2-point dunk attempt that sees us bounding through the air and throwing a basketball down into a goal that is perched 10 feet in the air."

    Ball Don't Lie: Facing his third microfracture surgery, Greg Oden has a big decision on his hands
    "And if Greg Oden feels as if he needs to come back, in spite of all this? Then we need to support him. In spite of us feeling as if we need to point out that we know better. I'm about two sentences into this little riff using the word "need," and I'm realizing that this is a bad pun on the word "knee," and while I know none of you believe me when I tell you that this was unintentional, I'm leaving it in, and I don't care. Greg shouldn't either. If Oden didn't come out and call it quits on Monday, then it's obvious he wants another chance. Even if it's likely with another team, likely starting in earnest all the way in the fall of 2013."

    Ball Don't Lie via Cleveland Frowns: Report: LeBron James is hilarious
    "(S)he also told us that LeBron liked to drink apple martinis, which comes as no surprise because apple martinis are delicious, and if you had a job where you could take a four-hour nap every day to sleep off the sugar hangover, you would drink them, too. Relatedly, LeBron would ask his servers to have his steak (well done) already cut up for him, which corroborates a report by a (former?) server at Johnny's who once told [fellow reporter Vince] Grzegorek that LeBron would order his spaghetti cut up as well, and also of course enhances the credibility of our source."

    The Basketball Jones: Pick-and-Pop: Which Western Conference jerseys are going to the rafters?
    "No team has been more generous with the jersey-retiring than the Blazers, hanging the jerseys of just about everyone associated with the 1977 championship team from the Rose Garden rafters, down to the team waterboy and scoreboard operator. Brandon Roy never won a championship, but with injuries forcing his tragic retirement at the age of 27, it’s hard to imagine the Blazers not paying proper homage to the player who brought Portland out of the Jail Blazers era by putting his No. 7 in the rafters. LaMarcus is most likely to be the next in line, though he might need to win at least one playoff series in his time as a Blazer to build on the success that Roy raised the possibility of."

    The Basketball Jones: Pick-and-pop: Which Eastern Conference jerseys are going to the rafters?
    "Not much to talk about with the Bobcats, a franchise that simply doesn’t have the history yet to make too many cases for jersey retirement. Players like Emeka Okafor and Ray Felton had decent careers in Charlotte, but both are gone now, and you’d have to be really sentimental to say their years in North Carolina deserve such canonization. The only player, past or present, with any kind of legit case, is Gerald Wallace. He was an inaugural Bobcat, the one All-Star in franchise history, and a fan favorite for his seven seasons in Queen City who only left once traded. If Crash became the first player in franchise history to be so honored, it’s hard to imagine anyone would complain."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 2.21
    "Kevin Durant was big again Monday night, finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and three three-pointers. He shot 53 percent (10-19) from the floor, 89 percent (8-9) from the free-throw line and had just one turnover. Durant is averaging a sick 29.3 points, 8.7 boards, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.8 threes in 12 games so far this month, making him the runaway No. 1 fantasy player in February.''

    DIME: Nike Unveils “Dream Team” Collection Of Sneakers & Apparel
    "Need anymore reason to get excited for the Olympics this summer? We’ve already shown you the jerseys, and some behind-the-scenes photos from Nike’s epic Olympic Basketball Summit. Now, news has arrived that they plan to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Dream Team with a dope collection of apparel and footwear. It will include the Nike Air More Uptempo, Nike Shox BB4, Nike Air Force 180, Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 and Nike Air Force 1 Hi, as well as the crowning piece, the Dream Team Destroyer Jacket."

    DIME: Nike Unveils Team USA Basketball Uniforms
    "As we mentioned, Nike is bringing the goods today, unveiling many innovative summer products as well as the new Hyper Elite uniforms Team USA will be sporting in the Olympics this summer. To say these uniforms are different is an understatement. Not only are they 41 percent lighter than the joints Team USA rocked in Beijing just four years ago, but they’ve improved on every technological breakthrough of the past few years."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Three Will
    "Beating the Lakers is never easy. It’s damn near impossible when you score 7 points in the first quarter. Yes, the Blazers could muster just 7 points in the opening quarter, a new franchise low (duh). Before long, it was 37-7 Lakers, and while Nicoas Batum did his best to bring the Blazers back—18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals—it was all Los Angeles in this one. The Lake Show improved to 19-13, as Kobe Bryant dropped 28 points and the two big boys up front both went off for double-doubles: Pau Gasol had 16 and 12, while Andrew Bynum grabbed 19 rebounds to go with 14 points. Portland got hot in the third quarter, erupting for 36 points, and the Blazers (17-16) eventually cut the deficit to 10, but in the end, the Laker lead was just too much to overcome. L.A. outrebounded Portland 51-37, and got 17 off the bench from Steve Blake, who hit 5 threes."

    Hang Time Blog: Another Lost Season For Greg Oden
    "But I would argue that Oden’s tale is a bit different. This isn’t about a player that didn’t have the desire to be great. This is the tale of a player who never got the chance to chase that greatness because he didn’t have two good knees to stand on when the time came. And I can’t imagine a more cruel fate for any athlete who reached the level Oden did before his injuries started piling up."

    ESPN: Which Northwest Division rival is the most serious threat to OKC?
    "The toughest matchup in the Northwest is the Blazers. Go down the checklist. Durant stopper in Gerald Wallace? Check. Go-to scorer in LaMarcus Aldridge? Check. Rim protector to slow down Westbrook and Durant attacking the paint in Marcus Camby? Check. The Blazers could potentially be an eight-seed the Thunder want to avoid."


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