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Around The World: March 6

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

    March 6 Video: Trail Blazers 86, Hornets 74 Video: Nate McMillan Post-Game Interview Video: Nicolas Batum Walkoff Interview

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Snap Skid In Homestand Finale
    "We needed it. We needed a win desperately," said Portland coach Nate McMillan. "You drop your first three games coming off of the break and you’re not playing well and you’re about to go on a seven game road trip – really important for us to get this win tonight against New Orleans and now try to build off of this."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Prepare For Monster Roadie After Healing Home Win
    “It has nothing to do about the road trip. It’s games period. We only got like 25, 27 more games left. Every game is important. We don’t wanna go into the playoffs as the bottom seed, we feel like we a better team than that so every game is important to us whether it’s on the road or at home.”

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: Portland happy to start seven-game trip with a win
    "I have a good feeling about this road trip. Just what's against us: We haven't played well on the road. We are not expected to win. People are writing us off. We are not in the playoffs right now if the playoffs were to start. People are saying, 'Ah this needs to happen with this team, that needs to happen with that team.' Cool, let's just get away from it, remove ourselves and let's just ball," Matthews said. "What do we have to lose? You know? We are written off anyway. What do we got to lose, so let's just go out there and have fun and take care of business, and shoot, mess around and come back 7-0."

    Oregon Live: Portland 86, New Orleans 74: Raymond Felton, back in starting lineup, leads Blazers to much-needed victory
    “You know, it’s the first game of him being put back in that lineup,” McMillan said. “What I like is that he had 10 assists tonight. He is looking and finding and making teammates better. The fact that he didn’t turn that ball over a lot tonight, if he can do that for us, defend the ball, pressure the ball, create offense for teammates and find those guys, and take care of the ball, that’s what we need out of him.”

    Columbian: Batum has 19 in Blazers win over Hornets
    “I was feeling fine, they came out early and double-teamed me early,” said Aldridge, who, to his credit, grabbed 11 rebounds. “After I was double-teamed so long, I just lost my rhythm, but I found it later on in the game.”

    Rip City Project: Game 38 Recap: Blazers 86, Hornets 74
    "This upcoming road trip is a point guard gauntlet: Rubio in Minnesota, Rondo in Boston, John Wall in Washington, Darren Collison in Indy, Jeremy Lin in New York, Derrick Rose in Chi, and Russell Westbrook in OKC. Make-it or break-it should be painted on the side of Portland’s charter, since it is the keyword most closely associated with this impending jaunt. Right next to it should be painted the words “point guard play.” If the Blazers can win or push a few of these point guard battles, and not get run out of town by Rose, Rondo, or Westbrook, they’ve got a shot at making a bit of hay, and coming back to the Rose City with a slightly sunnier outlook. If that point guard play comes from Ray Felton, that would be super. If it comes from Jamal Crawford that would also be super. If it comes from some as of yet unnamed third party (Steve Blake perhaps, or maybe some double secret point guard not even the most dedicated NBA bloggers have ever heard of) that would also be super."

    CSNNW: Trade rumors swirling around Crawford, Felton
    "I do believe there is something to all the talk of Portland sending Jamal Crawford to Minnesota for Luke Ridnour. There's no getting around the fact that Nate McMillan seems to prefer using Wesley Matthews as the backup shooting guard over Crawford. If that's the case, with Nic Batum now firmly ensconced in his rightful position as the starting shooting guard, Crawford isn't going to get the minutes he deserves. If that's the case, move him and move him as soon as possible. I'm not sure what they were thinking of by bringing him here in the first place. I also been told by league sources that the Ridnour trade is a backup plan for the Blazers, who are still hard after another point guard. That could be Nash, Rajon Rondo or Jose Calderon"

    Blazersedge: Media Row Report: Blazers 86, Hornets 74
    "The last two days [I would stay up at night], 'I don't want to get traded! I don't want to get traded!' Now I know what the NBA is. If I get traded, I get traded." He then let out a real laugh at the idea that he might throw a party on the day after a deadline, once his future is secure. "No [party] but it's a feeling of relief [though]," Batum said. "You're like, 'Now I can move on, settle in, finish the season and relax.' Trade deadline, I don't really care about it now."

    Blazersedge: Recap: Portland Trail Blazers 86, New Orleans Hornets 74
    "Right around the time he was named an All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge was really cooking. The Blazers went to him early and often. He broke the backs of other teams in the first period and continued in the second half. Now he looks like an afterthought. He's blending in as if being an All-Star was the whole reason for the season. The Blazers can't have that. There's no way Aldridge should let his teammates get him only 11 shots. He should be calling for the ball, ripping somebody apart in the locker room. More than that, he ought to be blistering them for just standing around when he gets it, allowing opponents to send the kitchen sink at him and take away his looks. Kobe Bryant would be grabbing somebody's collar and chewing them out right now. Aldridge isn't Bryant, but he needs a little bit of that. Give me the ball, run the plays, be a threat when I touch it, help me score so we win. His line for tonight was 5-11, 10 points, 11 rebounds. Cheers for the rebounds, but that 10 points isn't going to cut it against anybody north of the Hornets. It's on him to get more pushy and it's on the rest of the squad to push him the ball."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: ‘Ty Lawson does it again!’ Nuggets PG nails second straight game-winner to beat Kings in OT
    "But when Evans got lost on a Kenneth Faried screen — to be frank, as Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller noted, Evans "was flat on his feet the whole time" — the Nuggets point guard took advantage of the extra space to rise and fire. And one night after delivering the dagger to put away the San Antonio Spurs, Lawson added the Kings to his hit list."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Clipper Darrell breaks down on Los Angeles sports news
    "The story has become more complicated in the last five days, with Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke noting that Darrell's fandom might not have been quite so pure as he expressed in public. Still, there's a great deal of support for Bailey, and he went on the Los Angeles ABC affiliate after Sunday's Lakers/Heat game to talk about his situation. You can watch the segment above (via Deadspin). Beware: It's a little awkward — Darrell breaks down in tears twice while trying to discuss what's transpired with the Clippers.)"

    Ball Don't Lie: Fat Joe’s new Terror Squad album looks like it’s going to be pretty weird
    "The real wild card here, of course, is Tim Duncan. I'm pretty sure his parents never let him have hip-hop tapes growing up, so his flow might be kind of off. His pen game is probably on point, though — you'll just have to get him to dial back on the Merlin metaphors and step up the Punisher punchlines. That'd fit in pretty nicely."

    The Basketball Jones: The boos are getting to Andray Blatche
    "That’s a pretty far cry from the “Boo me if you want” spiel from January, which kind of makes sense. I’m sure Wizards fans are fed up with Blatche, even though he didn’t play for a month, and the fact that they’re still booing even though he hasn’t been the on the court during their recent struggles and returns to boos suggests they’re probably upset he wasn’t playing. Big-time can’t win situation for Andray right there."

    DIME: A Tale Of 2 Kings: Sacramento’s Jimmer Fredette & Isaiah Thomas
    "Watching them on the court, Smart is right on about Thomas (9.1 points a night, 16.02 PER). He gets it and is now trying to manage the game for a team sorely lacking leadership. On the flip side, watching Fredette (7.9 points a game, 11.53 PER) is a bit frustrating. He barely plays and normally doesn’t look engaged on offense. His body language and demeanor aren’t that of a player with confidence."

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.6
    "Marcus Camby: 3-6 FG (50%), 6 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 2 TO; Though he hasn’t been a stud by any means, Camby deserves some credit for putting up some solid lines for his owners every now and then, not to mention missing just three games so far this season."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Mile High Miracle
    "Ahh, the classic late-night blowout. New Orleans had been frisky lately, but Portland held the Hornets to just 10 points in the third quarter en route to earning their first win post-All-Star break. Nicolas Batum led the Blazers in scoring with 19, while Ray Felton had 11 points and 10 assists and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 10 points and 11 boards. Portland shot just 6-22 from the three-point line, but locked down the Hornets at the other end—Jarrett Jack and Trevor Ariza shot a combined 2-10, Chris Kaman was 4-13 and only 3 NOLA players scored in double figures, led by Marco Belinelli’s 18. The Blazers’ win snapped a 3-game skid, as they led by as many as 26. Also, word to Marcus Camby, who had 16 rebounds. Does this dude age?"

    ESPN: Daily Fantasy What trade should the Suns make?
    "Steve Nash to the Trail Blazers for Raymond Felton, Elliot Williams and Portland's 2012 second-round pick. The Suns ideally should look to get something for Nash, as it is unlikely he will decide to spend his remaining years under Robert Sarver's reign of cheapness. This trade nabs them two young assets, along with another expiring contract. It's not splashy or sexy, but it's a logical move to start stockpiling assets and young players on a roster that has too many middling, overpaid veterans."


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